HaikuDawg Follow-Up

Danielle Durkin and Maria Ayoob finished their joint yearlong HaikuDawg project on March
5, 2012...

Dull ache behind eyes
Sisyphus taught me today
Lift and step forward.
—D.D. #10 3.16.11

 The chickadee’s call
Delicious sound of morning
Taste the mellow notes
—M.Y.A. #110 6.24.11

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?

Dani: I reveled in the regular communication and sharing of creative energy with others. I created a small group of folks I would send haiku to each night and it was mutually inspiring. Having a place to go once a day to focus a thought and/or feeling allowed me to crystalize experiences in my day or week in such a way that I felt  more connected and mindful of my surroundings.

Maria: I think I became a little braver. There is satisfaction and fun to be had in using my 'voice,' but to get it I have to give up my fear of being heard - and of being judged on my mistakes, my silliness, my mediocrity.

Old friend embrace me
No matter the roads we walk
I will see you there.
—D.D. #49 4.24.11

 The freshest morning!
Bliss is cool air on bare skin
Light-white-blue on brown
—M.Y.A. #125 7.9.11

In what ways did the project change your life?

Dani: My friendship with Maria has strengthened and deepened because we are doing the project together and our haikus are like a wonderful, ongoing conversation. Due to my illness over the last several years, I've felt isolated and at a loss as to how to reintroduce creative outlets to my routine. Consistency with this simple haiku art has reopened up a tiny window of light and communication I've craved. It's profoundly healing.

Maria: My friendship with Danielle has grown profoundly this year. Our haiku-conversation has been accompanied by many phone and email conversations, single word text messages asking for help or offering support, and the pleasure of getting to know each other as we are now. My relationship with depression has changed too. I've found some words to describe this very private experience. Re-reading those words has given me some ideas about what is consistent about my depression, the ways it manifests physically for me and how it reflects the seasons and colors my perception of the world around me. Finally, the project has taught me to be delighted by what I see. I love my city, my neighborhood, my walk to work, the little changes in the weather much more because of it.

I lift myself up,
Flutter moth-like to life’s light,
Stretching my burned wings.
—D.D. #68 5.13.11

Fall begins like this
A cooler afternoon light
One spiraling leaf
—M.Y.A. #199 9.21.11

Now what? We've decided to do another year of HaikuDawg together, starting April 1st,
2012, as well as try to publish our haikus for a wider audience. A lot has happened for both of us in a
year and we suspect our complex lives will be reflected in the new batch of haiku.

Laughter is the thread,
Knotting our hearts together,
Joining our loose ends.
—D.D. #290 12.21.11

I want my mind clear
My skull empty, echoing
Like a cave of bone
—M.Y.A. #220 10.12.11

Read the original HaikuDawg interview HERE.

Walking off the cliff,
Feeling wind yet not fearless,
Breathing into flight.
—D.D. #324 1.24.12

November, blue-gray
I was born in this cold month
Its shadows hold me
—M.Y.A. #266 11.27.11

And you can read all of Danielle and Maria's haiku HERE.

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