Funny how those seeds we planted many years ago spread in ways we never expected! Little did I know what would germinate, blossom, die back, and then blossom again…many times. Nor did I know years ago what would touch my own heart deeply, as well as others’…what would draw me in and generate creativity I hadn’t imagined possible.
In 1994 my mother died suddenly. When preparing for her Memorial, my daughter asked if the grandchildren could participate in some way. She suggested they all write and read Haiku poems about their grandmother. I’d never heard of Haiku. Then when I listened and heard, these poems were spot on. They captured the very essence of my mother and who she was in life…in so few words. Remarkable!
“Hmmm…,” I thought. “I wonder if I could use this gem and create Haiku poetry with inmates at Westville Correctional Center?” I always was looking for new ideas (a psychic once told me I did that a lot) to create innovative projects for the Art Program. I told the teacher what I had in mind, and…permission granted, I began. I worked with the men individually, helping them with my Haiku process, as they remembered who they were. Many fully engaged in the process…some tearfully.
Shortly after that. the director of a program of Holy Cross Associates that prepared college graduates and others for two years of service here and abroad, heard about this activity (among others I had created). He asked if I’d be willing to provide a calm day of reflection and integration at the conclusion of the training. So, once again, my Haiku process, along with other activities, helped people remember who they are.
This Haiku process became a regular staple in my creativity pouch. Today I use it to celebrate life,“enlighten” memories of journeys and experiences, along with pictures, in books I create. And I use it with others in workshops where I encourage everyone to remember who they are, and to be it…with no regrets!