Photo by Sarah Oblinger

Fat Ed


On The Floor Haiku – November 8, 2015
Fifteen minutes/
On the floor doing nothing/
Pinned by fat Ed.

Last year I lost the eyesight in my right eye a week after the first Walkabout started. No one knows why or if I”ll regain full sight in that eye. The only medical advice I was given was “rest your eyes and take it easy.”

Necessary adjustments were needed. My depth perception was gone. I was supposed to rest my eyes. Walkabout work was necessary, painting – not so necessary.  Books and TV – not necessary. Being in the world – necessary, but how? I couldn’t drive but I could walk, level ground was necessary.

So I walked a lot. Without depth perception I was seeing the world in new and unusual ways. I was walking slower. I began taking pictures – clouds, trees, the bridge, the river, the moon, the house, the clothesline, stuff in the street, dead things, sticks – all the things I met on my two blocks of level ground with my one seeing eye.

Then my right hip went wonky. I started lying on the floor, doing nothing for fifteen minutes everyday. No music, no TV or reading, no stretching or special breathing, just on the floor doing nothing, letting my right hip unwind.

My head wasn’t unwinding, it was full of thinking, particularly about my inner condition, because what else is there to think about when doing nothing? I wondered if I could unwind my head if I quit fighting the persistent thinking. Was there a simpler, more direct and playful way to be with my overthinking head? Yes!

Haiku. Its five syllable/seven syllable/five syllable form is a perfect container for my persistent thinking.  Haiku asks me to give precise attention to the meeting of my inner condition and the outside world by paring my many thoughts down to three lines about my inner condition and what is happening in the moment.

Haiku and photographs were necessary adjustments I made in my creative process to help me welcome the unwelcome that arrived in my life. There is always this moment with its light and shadows, its everythingness and nothingness. With its simplicity and directness these moments aren’t complicated, they’re mysterious, magical and medicinal, full of revelations, tears and humor.

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