A few days before Christmas I was sitting on a bench in the middle of the “Big 4” caravan park at Nambucca Heads in New South Wales. I was reading a book while keeping half an eye on our dog as she wandered around and I found myself distracted by the people nearby going about their business.
I had briefly, idly, thought about it before… but it was that specific moment when I truly realised that people have forgotten how to be alone… The moment people parted ways, perhaps to visit the camp kitchen or the toilet block, the other would burrow their face into their phone desperately seeking something, anything to fill the instant void.
I reflected on how much of my life I must miss simply due to being engrossed in technology and how so many others must too… such as the parents who don’t sit back and enjoy the moment their baby take its first steps because they are too busy trying to find their phone to film it.
I reflected on how ironic it is that the very devices that have revolutionised our day-to-day also have the potential to detract from it… To the point that being completely lost within whatever device we are holding has become a global epidemic (in China, they have even introduced “smartphone lanes” to help prevent people walking into each other!)
Patricia Donegan writes in Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart:
A fine haiku presents a crystalline moment of heightened awareness in simple imagery… this moment is more than a reflection of our day-to-day life – it is a deep reminder for us to pause and be present to the details of the everyday.
As I read Donegan’s words, I challenged myself to be more “present” in the here and now and to try to capture this through haiku. I’ve always found haiku fascinating; some are profound and genuinely moving. Some are simply fun and some just don’t appeal.
Today I was standing in a beautiful floristry in Peregian Beach, Queensland called “The White Magnolia”. The smell of the flowers was simply amazing – filling the store. Soft jazz played in the background – trumpets, French vocals. Old School. The florist was finalising an arrangement while talking with a child. They laughed softly, sharing a moment… And as unimpressive as the following is, this is what inspired my first haiku:
French jazz and flower
perfume float through summer air.
Peacefully, they laugh.
— D.V. (@dntfeedthemnkys) February 4, 2015