Back in 2011 I followed a blog of Miss Minimalist (the author of The joy of Less). She wrote about haiku poems, which really touched me. So much, I still have a print out of that post. Haiku are japanese poems which exist of only 17 syllables. The poems concentrate on the natural world, fleeting moments in time, the beauty of everyday life, and the brevity of life. A famous example is:
An old silent pond... A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again.
Miss Minimalist has explained really well how this can be reflected to life below:
Take inspiration from haiku’s seventeen syllables, and embrace the concept of limits. For example, if five pairs of shoes are adequate, limit your footwear to that number. Do the same for books, gadgets, plates, cups, shirts, pants, etc.—even your activities and commitments. Consider extending this to the written and spoken word as well, expressing yourself as succinctly as possible (ie., sending a short and sweet text instead of gabbing for hours on your cell phone).
When you limit what you own, every item counts. When you limit what you do, every action counts. When you limit what you say, every word counts. Therefore, it’s important to choose your possessions, actions, and words with deliberation and care.
Quality over quantity.
Haiku is a wonderful example of “less is more.” Making these poems longer or wordier would detract from, not enhance, their artistic merit. When it comes to haiku, it’s a matter of striving for the right words, not more words. Similarly, when it comes to our households, we should focus on the right possessions (what we need, love, or use regularly) rather than more possessions; and when it comes to our schedules, the rightcommitments (what we find fulfilling) rather than more commitments.
Haiku isn’t merely a handful of words with the right syllable count; it’s a mindful selection and arrangement, meant to evoke beauty in its expression. I feel similarly about minimalist living: it’s not about living with 100 items, but rather stripping away distractions to reveal the inherent beauty of life. It’s not about counting your possessions, but rather using your extra space and time to discover what delights your soul.
Haiku is never flashy or showy; it’s modest and humble and down-to-earth. We should similarly strive to live without pretense. Instead of flaunting status symbols or keeping up with the Joneses, embrace a life of simplicity. If we’d all stop one-upping each other, we’d live significantly more serene and pleasant lives.
Seek beauty outdoors, instead of in shopping centres. Realize that trees, flowers, and clean air and water are extraordinary gifts, and do everything in your power to respect and preserve them.
A haiku life means being mindful of every possession, word, and action in our lives. It’s living lightly and gracefully, and celebrating beauty in everyday experience. By following the spirit of these exquisite little poems, our lives too can be sparkling jewels, full of meaning and with nothing superfluous."
Celebrating beauty in everyday experience: