October 4, 2011

Two Haiku

Last night it sounded like my neighbor (whom I've never met, but have definitely heard on a regular basis) was assembling some sort of furniture in her apartment. The walls in my building are quite thin and when I got home at 9:00 the hammering, booming music, and excited talking was going full force. It had been a long trying day for me, and I wondered how long the racket was going to continue.

I called Rob for our usual goodnight chat, and tried (a little unsuccessfully, as Rob can attest) to ignore the construction party happening next door. Mercifully, the worst of it let up a little before 10:00 just as Rob and I were saying our goodbyes for the night. I felt relieved that I'd soon be able to drift off to sleep. After such a long day, there are few things I value more than a full 8 hours of blissful repose.

I wasn't out for long before it started again...bang bang bang bang bang bang BANG! I rolled over and looked at my cell phone. 11:14. "Are you kidding me?" I thought. My usual habit in situations like this is to not say anything, but just sit around and stew in my anger; cursing the thoughtless offender and praying that the offending will stop on its own, but I was so completely at the end of my rope last night I didn't even stop to think before I put on my slippers and a robe and stumbled next door to introduce myself to the new resident.

I knocked and a young looking woman came to the door. "Hi, I'm your neighbor," I said in as nice and placating a tone I could muster, "and I have really early mornings...is there any way you could hold off on the hammering tonight?"

"Oh...is it bothering you?" she replied.

"DUUUUUUHHHHH!" I wanted to scream, but instead just looked at her pleadingly and said, "Yeah, it's pretty loud for this late at night."

I was relieved when she was nice about it and said she'd quiet down.

Despite having had a relatively cordial exchange, I went back to my room fully charged with nervous adrenaline. I laid down and tried, to no avail, to get back into a sleepy frame of mind. When I last looked at my phone, I moaned when I saw that it read 12:06.

Sometimes I can lull myself to sleep by imagining myself wandering through a placid landscape...intentionally beginning a dream into which I can later slip seamlessly, without noticing, into unconsciousness. I often transport myself to a warm beach, feel the sand brushing between my toes, the gentle lap of water up around my ankles, and the flushing away of sand from beneath my feet as the waves rush back to sea. Last night I imagined walking toward an Evanston sunrise. Tromping through the dewey grass left my shoes sopping wet and as I climbed the wall of boulders to assume my perch, the idea for a simple haiku came to mind...

Walking through dew drops
once melded into oceans...
An exhale of cloud.

And then I slept.

Needless to say, my alarm this morning felt painfully premature. I pushed snooze a few times and then finally rolled out from underneath my warm covers to begin the day.

I did not feel good.

I wanted to turn on my radio as loud as I could while I showered and breakfasted; hoping to wake my rowdy-night-owl of a neighbor...but I didn't. After all, she was pretty nice about everything when I talked to her, and I guess amiable cooperation is a big part of being a neighbor.

Amazingly, I still made it to the lake for sunrise, and as I continued the rest of the way to Regenstein another little haiku started taking shape behind the rhythm of my walking.

Now comes a jealous
beauty. Bow the eye--lest she
blind you to all others.


  1. I think that is the most haunting picture and the most profound Haiku I've ever heard. It's worthy of time!!!!

  2. Dear Kelly,
    I think we are going to need a compilation book sometime. Poetry, insights, pictures (of course). You have been blessed with SO much creativity.
    Sometimes I wonder if the some of the burdens you bear are the strange cosmic price you pay for having the ability to bring such beauty in the world, as well as reveal so much of the beauty that is already there. The labor pains of bringing YOUR fruit into the world.
    More likely, though, is that your suffering has made you more able to see things that others cannot see. You climb heights that few have, and the vistas you share when you reach those peaks are priceless.
    Either way, you should publish.

  3. Rod says" Kelly is the most awesome in the history of awesomeness. She just blows me away"