Haiku Society of America - haiku column 20

Haiku Society of America

.haiku column

Gene MyersThe Haiku Society of America is pleased to host this ongoing column.

.Haiku: a place to share tools available to haiku writers and fellow haiku fans (like how to use Twitter, Facebook and Scribd for building community, self-publishing and marketing). The column will also feature interviews, blog spotlights and occasional multimedia presentations.

Gene Myers

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.haiku column 20

.haiku column number 20 • 6-30-2013

by Gene Myers

Hitting your reset button

Thought experiments can be fun ways to jolt our brains off autopilot. Here are a few quick exercises that can help you find your personal reset button.

Next time a plane flies overhead, let your imagination take over as its engines fill your ears. Picture the people on board. Try to picture them individually. Who are they? Maybe one is a young magazine editor from Iowa who is flying to New York to visit her mom. See the editor in your mind as she looks out the window. She is looking out in order to give the couple next to her privacy.

Dizzy with the flu, the couple appreciates the privacy. Take this thought experiment as far as you like. In the cabin, the captain and his copilot tease each other about their divorces as they sip coffee and tend to their gauges. The captain keeps it to himself that he gets along well with his ex-wife and doesn’t tell his copilot that he’s heading to her house for dinner when the plane lands.

A flight attendant brings more Cheerios to the red-headed toddler who is awestruck by his first plane ride. Beyond picturing the passengers and what they are doing at the moment they are flying overhead, conjure up their pasts as well. What led them to this moment? This could go on and on. What are their expectations for their trips? Who will they see?

How connected the planet’s billions of inhabitants are. Because we are wired to be social animals, isolation scares us. This is why we tend to exaggerate feelings of loneliness. Picturing the lives of others as they streak across the sky helps me gain perspective. We may not always realize it, but at any given moment, many of us are in the same boat.

Besides loneliness, the other ironic ailment we all seem to suffer from is boredom. It’s easy to forget the majesty of this world we inhabit. But the panoramic view that surrounds me whenever I am in the mountains usually serves as a reminder. Just a quick 360-degree scan reminds me that I am indeed on a planet spinning through space. If that doesn’t do it for you, how about imagining that you are standing in space?

You can get this vantage point by looking down through your feet at the stars in the night sky. This can be achieved a number of ways. Try putting your feet up on a picnic table, or lie in a hammock so that your feet are above your head. Sitting on a hill might also work. Stare at the stars for a while. Does it feel like you’re floating?

hammock swinging—
feet above my head
in the stars

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Is there something you would like to see in a column? Email me at <poetgene@gmail.com>.

• .haiku column number 20 • 6-30-2013 •

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The Haiku Society of America web site featured a Haiku Column written by Gene Myers. Here is the archive of his columns written from 2010-2017

.haiku column number 37 by Gene Myers • 6/1/17

.haiku column number 36 by Gene Myers • 3/7/17

.haiku column number 35 by Gene Myers • 6/20/16

.haiku column number 34 by Gene Myers • 3/21/16

.haiku column number 33 by Gene Myers • 2/10/16

.haiku column number 32 by Gene Myers • 1/6/16

.haiku column number 31 by Gene Myers • 10/29/15

.haiku column number 30 by Gene Myers • 7/9/15

.haiku column number 29 by Gene Myers • 3/23/15

.haiku column number 28 by Gene Myers • 1/15/15

.haiku column number 27 by Gene Myers • 9/26/14

.haiku column number 26 by Gene Myers • 7/14/14

.haiku column number 25 by Gene Myers • 4/14/14

.haiku column number 24 by Gene Myers • 2/10/14

.haiku column number 23 by Gene Myers • 1/2/14

.haiku column number 22 by Gene Myers • 10/7/13

.haiku column number 21 by Gene Myers • 8/25/13

.haiku column number 20 by Gene Myers • 6/30/13

.haiku column number 19 by Gene Myers • 5/18/13

.haiku column number 18 by Gene Myers • 4/7/13

.haiku column number 17 by Gene Myers • 3/10/13

.haiku column number 16 by Gene Myers • 2/9/13

.haiku column number 15 by Gene Myers • 1/2/13

.haiku column number 14 by Gene Myers • 11/18/12

.haiku column number 13 by Gene Myers • 10/11/12

.haiku column number 12 by Gene Myers • 9/27/12

.haiku column number 11 by Gene Myers • 8/26/12

.haiku column number 10 by Gene Myers • 7/19/12

.haiku column number 9 by Gene Myers • 6/17/12

.haiku column number 8 by Gene Myers • 5/19/12

.haiku column number 7 by Gene Myers • 4/16/12

.haiku column number 6 by Gene Myers • 3/16/12

.haiku column number 5 by Gene Myers • 2/12/12

.haiku column number 4 by Gene Myers • 1/23/12

.haiku column number 3 by Gene Myers • 10/17/11

.haiku column number 2 by Gene Myers • 9/12/11

.haiku column number 1 by d. f. tweney • 10/6/10

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