Monday, December 17, 2007

four by Christina

This old apple tree
Twisted, gnarled, covered with lichen
Bears apples.

Moon above the elm.
Moon above the pines.
In every bend in the road, a different

Stillness when dry
Stillness when wet
Stillness in different cloaks.

Laundry glows white on the line
An owl hoots one note at a time
April full moon.

Excercise Two: write

Write your own haiku. It’s easy. American haiku does not require 15 syllables which is the way it used to be taught since many current scholars say it is ridiculous to try to create rules from Japanese which is not an alphabet language. More importantly it’s succinct. Three lines, imagistic, and usually has some mention of the season. For me, most importantly, “haiku” takes you into a moment of nature. The best way to learn to write haiku is to read a lot. After it’s written, memorize it, and perform it. You can figure out which rules are most important for you.

It would be fun to post some of your haiku here so that other people can use them for performing. Please use the 'comments' field to add them, and we'll post them on the blog. Putting your work out into the world gives it more dimension. Here are some of my mine. Use them for “performing” if you like. Please give credit in the performance. If you’ve enjoyed someone else’s haiku, let them know on this blog. A nice rule could be: lend one, borrow one.

The cheeks of the man in the moon
Are ready to burst
Shut your eyes.
-- Christina

I feel like ripe fruit
kissed by a thousand bees.
The flowers have fallen.
(Co-written with my husband. This is also fun to do. You come up with a line. Another person comes up with the second line and you complete it.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Exercise One: Begin

Pick a haiku that touches you. Now memorize it. A great way to memorize is to read it from an enjoyment/ flow place several times. Then see how much you know. You’ll be surprised. Next, feel your feet on the ground, breathe in, and let the words flow right out of you. Let the words speak and that’s all you do. Practice a bit and now for the most important part: Remember this is for fun. It’s about giving a gift. Ask someone if you can share a haiku with them—that creates the performance space—and off you go. (And of course if haiku is not your bag you can do it with something else: a joke, a poem, a short song. You’ve gotta love it.)

Why haiku? They’re little 3 line nuggets with overtones that go on and on. You can find them online or check out the local bookstore, amazon, etc. I’d start first with the old masters like Basho, Busson, and Issa. Their poems really sing. (Two favorite editors of mine are listed below.)

1. THE ESSENTIAL HAIKU, edited by Robert Hass.

2. HAIKU, edited by R. H. Blyth was first printed in Japan in 1949. This is hardcore and has 4 volumes. The first volume has an amazing account of the evolution of haiku and takes you across Chinese, Indian, and Japanese cultures and the seeds of haiku in paintings and ancient poetic forms. If you’re into metaphysics and religions this is like candy. The other volumes have poems from the seasons and grouped around topics like: “frogs”, “butterflies”, “rain”. Blyth’s knowledge and love of haiku is very deep. And, it’s his love that makes these books such a fun read.

Link to R. H. Blyth's books on

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Raison d'ĂȘtre

Theater sets the stage for an audience to be in a rarefied setting where we look, observe—and if it’s very good theater and it’s material we’re interested in, we interact with it, we change, and become more alive inside.

Light Touch Theater wants to take this one step further. WHY NOT ACT? To many people acting is threatening, scary, but because of the intentionality and ephemeral nature of it, it is sometimes the moment when actors feel the most alive.

In ancient times the stage was the sacred temple and every act on it was a gift to the gods and in return a gift from the gods. It is that moment of openness and presence in oneself and the external world which creates the setting for magic or grace to happen. Let’s claim a bit of that magic in moments and let “theater” happen in our daily lives.

So let’s break it down. To have theater you need a performer, an audience, intentionality with text or movement, and a stage. The stage is simple. It’s where you stand. The audience is easy. It can be a friend, an acquaintance, a passer-by—someone you want to share a bit of art with.�