Save the Date: Haiku Milieu After Dark show on Friday, May 27, 9 pm at FitzGerald's Sidebar.
So many rituals from when I was a little girl.
As you know, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and go downstairs. Once I was through opening the pantry door to see how my day would go, I headed to the kitchen to see if there was any ice cream left.
Often, there wasn’t, but when there was, I might even find a spoon abandoned by a fellow ice cream thief, most commonly a sibling but sometimes left by the master thief himself, aka “The Mouse,” my Dad, who was as eager as his children to indulge in the frozen fruit of the udder and twice as eager to not get caught. If it turned out there was a spoon in the carton of Neapolitan, that was good news, as the silverware drawer required jiggling to open, and I didn’t like to risk making a lot of noise for fear of waking the family.
If there was no ice cream, I would turn to the old standby of the pickle sandwich: two pieces of white bread, Miracle Whip, and Claussen dill pickles. Unlike ice cream, those three items were plentiful in my house and no one would miss them; plus there was almost always a knife in the sink that simply needed to be rinsed off. No clanging of silverware bells!
After my midnight snack, inspired by the English folktales I devoured, I imagined myself a Brownie, one of the industrious tribes of little fairies who clean and do housework in the middle of the night. Not only would I clean up after myself, I would clean the kitchen or do other little chores that I knew would make my Mom happy.
And then in the morning, I would casually mention to her, “Did you notice how clean the kitchen was this morning? The Brownies must have done it!”
“Oh yes,” she’d say, “They did a very wonderful job.” "You know," I'd say, "Brownies like it when you leave treats out for them." And guess what started to happen? A graham cracker one day, a cookie the next, a note the day after that.
One day I got an idea. I said “Mom, I think it's the Brownie’s birthday tomorrow!”
And when I woke up in the middle of the night, performed my pantry ritual and went into the kitchen, there was a saltine with the frosting we used to write on cakes. My Mom had written Happy Birthday to the brownie!
A week or two later, I had the idea to try it again. I said, “Mom, I think I heard it’s the Brownie’s birthday tomorrow.” I recall only mild protestations that the Brownie just had a birthday. “Oh, it’s a different one,” I said confidently.
And that evening, again, there was a saltine with cake icing on it, saying “Happy Birthday.” I tried it a third time, but my Mom forgot to leave out a treat and I lost interest.
The Haiku Milieu celebration in May 2019 that launched what would become a series of songwriting concerts began in a similar way. I asked friends to write songs to celebrate the release of the first volume of Haiku Milieu. Upon meeting that challenge, we all thought we were done. But then I had the idea to ask again. And like my mom, my friends keep saying YES.
Only this time, for the Haiku Milieu After Dark show on Friday, May 27 at FitzGerald's Sidebar, it was my friends who had the idea. Andon Davis and Chris Neville came up to me in the back room of the Outtaspace as I was packing up, getting ready to leave after this past November's Haiku Milieu show.
They came in eager as the breath of Spring saying, “Don’t say no, don’t say no, just hear us out!" And they proceeded to outline an idea for a concert: Haiku After Dark, or Haiku for adults or even simpler - Sexy Haiku songs. I said - YES! But time and life got in the the way of things when I tried to schedule the artists and the venue. I was just about to let it go when Chris reminded me, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good."
In that spirit, I renewed my efforts and confirmed the venue and the artists. And then, I set my inner compass for Haiku After Dark. You can see what's been coming to me to share in word and ink in the Week in Review section above.
In the process, I am realizing that while there is some satisfaction in completing a task, the greater satisfaction comes from having an idea, dandling it between your fingers like the satin lining of a beloved childhood blanket, and then bringing it into your grown up life. That is where the joy, the growth, the real pleasure in living lies.
We idolize being done, or getting it done, or having it done, when really what brings us to life is having ideas, putting them in motion, and seeing them through.
When the day is done...that is what Haiku Milieu is all about. Finding the extraordinary or said a different way, the sexy, in the everyday. Hopefully, more often than not, we'll get a song or a haiku or a story or a photo or a picture just right. But we'll never get it done. And that's the BEST NEWS EVER.
Speaking of which, I hope you'll join us for music and friendship SOON. This Wednesday at Outtaspace with Naomi, Thursday with Klem and Paul at Friendly Tap, and more to come.