The glass slipper,
The challenge, presented by a Haiku, is how to effectively reduce the clutter of mental imagery and meaning, around a subject, down to its essence. Like a drop of beautiful perfume, a good Haiku creates an immediate impact but also lingers in the imagination.
In spare moments, I’ve been considering the essence of the appeal of cherry blossom. In a previous post, on this blog, I shared my photographs, taken this year, of Vancouver’s cherry blossom. Many factors came to mind, when considering the essence, including: the announcement of spring, the fairytale nature of the colours, the temporal nature of life, the spectacular display, the blossoming of potential, the decisive moment and change from cold to warmth, from dark to light, from indifference to love. The reaching out of blossom towards the infinite ceiling.
Above, love. I started playing with words, trying to find something that captured the moment of transition when indifference turns to love. Something that spoke to the innocence and the hope. Something that recalled the Grand Ball like display.
Then it dawned on me, cherry blossom is Nature’s Cinderella moment when potential is allowed to shine. I considered the Cinderella story in depth and considered it’s allegorical meaning and decisive moments. The story of poor Cinderella literally locked away from her own potential and beauty, until the night of the ball. Her Prince becomes captivated, the clock strikes midnight, and then there it is, the glass slipper. The transparent, open, honest, yet fragile beauty of a glass slipper contrasted against the deceptive nature of the three ugly sisters. In much the same way an excellent Haiku contrasts one definition against another, the glass slipper, in the fairytale of Cinderella, becomes the allegorical key to the Prince’s discovery of his love, for Cinderella, a transformation. It is only her foot that will fit the glass slipper and when it does, we know everything will begin. Love, warmth, happiness.
The placing of the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot is the decisive moment. A moment within a story so well known and loved that it only requires a brief mention to trigger a flood of recalled emotion and feelings. Emotions and feelings that perfectly relate to the very essence of the subject matter. Cherry blossom is Nature’s Cinderella moment. My Haiku submission to the 2011 Haiku Invitational:
The glass slipper,
My cherry blossom photos, 2011.