Notes On Attention Paid

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20210612.02 Haiku

… i turn to the Haiku of Basho, Buson, & Issa for the centering spiritual start to my day… one by Basho catches my attention in particular…

the spring we don’t see—

on the back of a hand mirror

a plum tree in flower1

… at first i read it as a comment on vanity, that we stare at our own reflections in the hand mirror, and fail to notice the flowering plum tree out the window… then i realize that the back of the mirror is likely to be decorated with an embossed or painted image of a plum tree in bloom… still, there is the issue of being more interested in our own reflections than the beauty on the other side of the mirror…

  1. Basho. Translated by Robert Hass. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa, edited by Robert Hass. The Echo Press, 1994 [return]