Sometimes I'm not ready to do something. Or I need to do something, and I can't get started.
What if, I ask myself.
What if we were going to do Haiku Milieu volume 2, say, by the 2020 Holiday Season? What would it feel like? What would it look like? Who could help me bring it to life?
My first answer usually is, "I have no idea." And then I think about making a sandwich. I might even get as far as the kitchen. But that question has begun to work on me.
And before you know it, I am thinking, "Well, somehow I would have to choose the images. Then I would have to make them work together in a book. How could I do that? Then I would have to actually put them all together..."
I have left the knife in the peanut butter, the bread in the toaster, the banana out of the refrigerator...and I am losing track of what I said I was going to do next...
And all because I asked myself the question: what if?
This is what happens BEFORE you invite someone to collaborate, to work alongside you to bring something to life. You have an inkling. If you are like me, you might turn away from it at first. But if it is a compelling enough, open-ended enough question like "what if," you almost can't help but answer yourself.
And also if you are like me, once you get comfortable enough talking to yourself, it feels very natural to start talking to other people about your idea. When they start talking back, you listen, until you have a beautiful blueprint in your mind and you can start digging the foundation for your idea in the real world.
So I guess we could say, I have started the "talking" phase of creating a new book, Haiku Milieu, Volume 2.
To talk to myself about it, I went through the haiku/photos I posted since October 2018, and I printed them out. As I announced that September is the first anniversary of the Sunday Haiku Milieu Email -- an email that delivers a never-before-seen photo and haiku each and every Sunday at 6:00 am -- I asked my readers and friends to share their favorites.
With their thoughts, and my thoughts, just for fun, I laid the photo and haiku out.
I spread them out on the floor in four rooms of my house, like an art installation (hmmmm - idea for another time?!?) and I moved among them, hoping that the collection as a whole would be more than the sum of its parts, that each haiku and photo would work on its own, that each chapter would work together, and all would contribute to a greater whole.
I felt like it did...but I was pretty close to it at that point...
So I roused Robin away from his own artistic pursuits, to come and walk through the "gallery" with me, strewn across our bedroom floors and the living room. I had closed the door to the bedrooms, because our cat Tristan was extremely interested in the proceedings, and at that moment, I was not looking for feline feedback (hey! another thought, for another time!) I just wanted to see how my ideas about the images worked together.
It was FUN to open those doors together. Even I was surprised by what I hadn't noticed when putting the possibilities together. And Robin had insights and ideas I hadn't even thought of.
I knew this "art installation" would not survive more than the next few hours (see above: Tristan.) So I texted my besties Jodi and Naomi to see if they had any ability to swing by and walk through the "gallery" with me. Naomi was able to swing by, and once again, she had fascinating impressions and ideas I not even considered.
This is the pre-collaboration, "thinking" phase of Haiku Milieu, Volume 2. Hmmm. I just had another thought. Write you back next week!
Meanwhile, share your thoughts with me in the comments, if you're of a mind to do so.