As part of my PhD, the university required I take two ethics courses. In 2012, I took an ethics class. A central theme in the course was the role eudaimonia plays in one’s life. We often translate eudaimonia as being happiness. It is more than being happy in the moment, as that is fleeting. Instead, Aristotle expanded on it to mean human flourishing and even blessedness, which occurs even in moments of distress.
When we think of eudaimonia in that way, it opens up opportunites to reflect on how we experience flourishing. In my case, it is the human relationships, a love of sports, hockey specifically, and writing, particularly poetry. I began to write poetry again, not because I felt at ease with the world, rather because I was unhappy at the time. It was opening up my heart in ways to allow this unhappiness to be dealt with one in ways to help me flourish.
Writing haiku is one poetic form I enjoy. Part of writing them is fun I had teaching how to write them. Students challenged me to write a haiku on the spot. I always began with an idea usually, but not allows, about nature. I got three lines down and then went back to select better words and focus on the syllables.
Students seemed to engage differently as they saw me enjoying writing haiku. Adults sometimes complained. For example parents and administrators questioned teaching poetry. I responded with it is good to write poetry as we learn how to select and use language in precise ways, plus it is fun. They did not always get it. Students did.
Here are a couple of examples that come to mind. It is not that we write as much as it is a process of writing and being written.
coursing cool current
tearing over life’s rocks
crossing to healing
Language and words bridge one’s private struggles and and make it visible and public. I strugled with these haiku. I think I need more practice. I hope they make sense.
Wearing down rough edges
Bridging life’s busyness
Pausing to flourish.
YOU MAKE US HAPPY WITH YOUR HAIKU!
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
Thank you Jonathan
You are welcome, sir!
Lovely post and I agree. Writing is wonderful in so many ways. 🙂
Thank you Gigi. It is a release for what ails us quite often.
Enjoy reading haiku but haven’t found success writing it. As you can tell from my replies, I am a bit wordy so it’s difficult to just select those precise words that describe a feeling or place.
Bev, I have been called verbose, so writing poetry has helped me in many ways.
I enjoyed them, Ivon and instantly got them. So glad you taught poetry to your students. They are better for having learned about it from you. May we all be happy. Always and in all ways.
Thank you Carrie. They seemed to enjoy it. Some even used it to explore topics not easily addressed e.g. gender identity and sexuality in adolescence.
How wonderful that you offered them a tool to explore themselves from within. Such a wonderful gift!
Thank you Carrie. And, some of them used it that way. I had a student who struggled with reading and writing at grade level. She wrote beautiful poetry, with grammar and spelling issues. I asked her if she considered using it to take notes and write key ideas down. Initially, she said it was poorly written, until I introduced her to ee cummings.
How wonderful!! 😍
Writing is so grand
Words explain our inner view
To thyself be true 🙂
That is so true Carolyn.
I’ve always had a fascination with words and the images they can convey. I believe this was sparked by a high school English teacher who introduced me to Shakespeare. She made the meanings come alive as she acted the parts.
I’ve always remembered her with fondness and appreciation.
Yes, I had teachers like that; an Enlish Lit teacher and a Humanites (English and Social Studies combined) teacher. In the latter class, I wrote my first poems as a 14 year old.
We owe them so much!
You did all right, Ivon! 🙂
Thank you Bela. Take care and stay well.