From the Editors
We find much to reflect on in Santayana’s words about our constant and shifting relationship with a tilting world. He tells us to be present where and when we are and urges us to attend to the full gamut of experiences and emotions that come our way. Without cold there is no warmth; without winter there is no spring.
Of course, he speaks to the poet’s level of immersion in life as well. To engage with all the changing seasons suggests the need to abandon painting what we see with the most obvious palette, and to notice and convey the colors that lend volume and depth to a thing, a time, a place. It suggests the need to forsake the obvious or sentimental and to come at things slant.
When we take time to be interested in a thing, large or small, we are inspired by it. What inspires us? Do we make time to be inspired? Is there a pace and rhythm to our days, or are we spread thin, multitasking, barely finding a few moments to reflect, to notice the small workings of the world around us?
Sparrows are constant companions through the seasons. How do they survive the frigid days and nights of winter? After observing them for a few minutes, it becomes apparent that they are completely in tune with each season. They are aware and, somehow through instinct, able to interpret the presence or absence of light and wind, of snow and rain, and how these and other elements of nature impact their survival. Nothing excites them more than a handful of seeds tossed onto the snow in the dead of winter or a trickle of meltwater. Perhaps Santayana is telling us: Be like a sparrow. Notice the small things and be nourished by them.
We hope that you find creative nourishment in the winter issue of this journal. We begin 2013 by bidding farewell to three officers of the HSA executive committee: Ce Rosenow, president; John Stevenson, second vice president; and Susan Antolin, editor of Ripples. We are grateful and indebted to them for their service to the HSA, and pleased to include haiku from all of the officers who served through 2012 (see pp. 5–7, up to and including Randy Brooks).
Thank you to our artists. Chris Patchel delights us once again with his exquisite cover design. The image “Snowflake” leaves us breathless and draws us into the chrystalline beauty of winter. It should inspire a haiku moment in each of us, while the delicately crumpled tissues on the back cover remind us of the human side of the season. Bob Root-Bernstein’s “f-r-o-g” marries word and image. In this and other pictonymns he uses the letters in the name of a thing to draw it, and like haiku itself, synthesizes sense and sensibility. We are grateful for assistance from Charlie Trumbull and Bill Pauly, whose sense and sensibility helped us catch errors before sending this issue to print, and to Noah Banwarth, who continues to tutor the editor in the workings of the design program.
What becomes obvious in our work as editors is that the creative process is the lifeblood of each and every season; it is what sustains us and keeps us connected to each other and to the mysteries of this world, as well as the universe. Please send your best haiku, senryu, linked forms, haibun, essays, and reviews to Frogpond. Thank you for entrusting us with your work.