relatively mild

There was a report on the news this morning about some study on climate change. A woman was saying that people probably think this last decade was exceptionally hot, but with climate change, the next decade will be much hotter such that our current temperatures will seem relatively mild.

When I heard this, my first thought was, “why is this still being reported like it’s some surprising news that no one considered before?” But I was in the middle of doing other things, so I continued on with my morning without thinking much more of it.

That is, until just a moment ago when I was reminiscing about how relatively carefree life used to be, and lamenting how troublesome life seems to be right now. Pandemic aside, I feel like this year has brought a lot more “responsible adult” tasks for me.

(Is there a point in adulthood when there is no more to learn about being an adult, and you can just get on with life i.e. relaxing, doing nothing, etc? Probably not?)

Continue reading

under the weather

Looks like we’re in for a bit of a rough summer. We’ve already had some really hot days followed by fierce storms, and some hail too. And it’s only the start of November!

There’s also been a lot of dust and pollen in the air recently, and my workplace has just gotten something done to the aircon, so the air’s been quite cold and dry too. As a result, my sinuses have been suffering, and they’ve made sure I’m well aware of it.

Having come through winter relatively unscathed, I suppose this is just a small inconvenience, but it’s inconvenient all the same.

Still, one ought to be grateful that one has a home, and a sofa on which good books can be read and enjoyed. I think that will be my week-end taken care of.

potatoes, cold mornings and bridges

We’re approaching the final stretch of my month of haiku now, and I’m feeling like I could actually continue this beyond July. Imagine how many haiku I could write in all the life ahead of me?

What I’ve started to worry about, however, is that I’m going to repeat certain themes, lines or phrases from one haiku to another. I actually pondered this back on July 11th, and wrote this piece:

How many haiku,
Already written, and still…
Many more waiting

Is it possible to exhaust all possible compositions of these three-line poems? With such finite syllables, surely you could only do so much? Continue reading

and the haiku-writing continues…

Looks like July has become the month of haiku-writing for me. I’m really enjoying this, and it really makes me smile to be able to look back on the haikus and the little memories they contain. I’ve tried the 100 Happy Days Challenge before, and I’ve kept daily gratitude journals before, but I think those things always focussed on the obvious joys (e.g. went to a concert, hung out with a friend, had dinner at this place, watched a movie, had a sleep in, etc)

And some days I had to search for little things to be happy/grateful about, but I also feel like it got repetitive after a while too.

It’s only two weeks into this daily haiku thing, so maybe it’s a bit too early to judge, but it feels like this challenge is making me look outside myself more, to seek wonder more so than happiness. I’m sure there’s a scientific paper somewhere that says wonder is an important feeling/sensation that all people should try to experience as much as possible.

But I think the other thing that sets this apart from other gratitude projects, is that instead of just taking and captioning a photo, or simply recalling every good thing that happened that day — instead of these relatively quick processes, haiku requires you to take inspiration, and then mould that to fit your finite syllables. In this process, you might have to shuffle words around, find alternative ways of describing something, and really focus on the most important aspects that you want to convey.

In short, there’s a lot involved! But it’s still pretty simple, and I maintain that anyone with a basic grasp of language can do it. Continue reading

daily haiku: week 1

I’ve now finished seven days of writing daily haiku, so I thought it would be a good idea to look back and share some of my favourites. It’s actually been more than seven days, if you want to get technical about it, since I actually started thinking up haikus before the start of July. My mind was sort of preparing itself for the challenge, like warming up before a marathon.

Since July started on a Monday, the start of the work week, I tended to think up haiku on my way to work: while walking to the bus stop, on the bus, in my car, or while cycling. (Yes, my commute was very varied last week.) This meant that several of my haiku are related to the outside world: nature, meteorological phenomena, animals, etc. Whatever I observed gained automatic consideration for haiku topics. Continue reading

a capital autumn

I had written up a short post on Saturday morning, and I thought I’d published it successfully from my phone, but now I cannot find it amongst my published, draft, scheduled or discarded posts, so I have no idea what happened to it.

But, whatever, there wasn’t much in it. Just that this week has been a bit busy. Add to that an impromptu trip to Canberra, and it hasn’t left me much time to blog. Even so, I’m not ready to break my long-standing post-per-week streak (as tempting as it is, I think it’s also a matter of pride).

Hopefully back to “normal” next week.

And by “impromptu” I mean I booked the flights on Thursday night, and I was on the plane Friday morning. Don’t worry, it wasn’t for any serious emergency, unless you consider providing emotional support an emergency (although I think the trip did me just as much good as it did for my friend).

As it turns out, Canberra is really pretty in the autumn. My favourite sight was the trees with a gradient of leaves from green in the lower branches, to yellow then orange and red and brown at the top. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to take a photo at the time, but I got a few other magnificent landscapes. Here is one for now:

I suppose to most people autumn is a lacklustre time when everything and everyone is preparing to enter some kind of dormancy or hibernation, but autumn is actually my favourite season. To me, it’s full of amazing colour, vigour and vibrancy.

Seeing trees aflame with deep red leaves, or shimmering with golden sequins, or even to see ghostly bare branches casting intricate patterns across the sky – these are the sights that evoke wonder and intrigue.