It’s the edge of spring, the sky is suddenly, somehow, much bigger, and the construction crane that perennially looms over the place I work begins to swing. I’ve never seen anything non-sentient move so lightheartedly. Halfway through its arc a flock of birds appears from somewhere else in the cloudless sky and begins to dance with the machine. These are the kinds of things that happen after you decide you’re glad that you’re alive.
…..and out of
Prose: here, now. Haiku: DailyHaiku, Cycle 11, May 29, 2011.
What is this thing again? (I hear you thinking.) Oh yeah … it’s a paint chip.
For those of you who can’t read my handwriting:
winter sky —
faded ink on the check
I never cashed
There has been some confusion on the part of some people about what the heck this is, exactly. It’s a paint chip.
I have a huge stack of these left over from when we were contemplating painting things in our house, but then we realized that would take time and energy, which we would rather preserve for things that contribute either to our survival or our entertainment, so we said nahhh, let’s just leave the walls in their current state of dilapidation.
But paint chips! I love them in so many ways. They’re like little tickets, or tokens, granting you entrance to a color. You can stack them, you can sort them, you can flip through them and watch a rainbow in flight. I’m always trying to think of brilliant artistic things to do with them, which is why I have a box filled with them, and pick up more every time I go to a hardware store, even though we don’t have any immediate plans to paint anything.
Then the last time I pulled them out — which was when I was preparing my present for Alegria and hauled out all my boxes of random paper scraps and ephemera that I always think I will do something brilliant and artistic with and hardly ever do — I realized: these things don’t just have colors on them, they have words on them. And not just any words, but highly evocative words, because the makers of paint chips know that you are more likely to buy paint called “Tidal Pool” than paint called, um, “Light Grayish Blue.”
Well, I have this little hobby that involves doing things with words. So I sort of went crazy using the names of colors on paint chips as haiku writing prompts. I’ve got a big stack of these now and I’m thinking of dropping by the hardware store soon for some more free inspiration. God knows I need it these days.
(And by the way? I have declared a moratorium on my writing haiku about snow for the rest of the winter. I feel like that’s all I ever write lately. So if you see any more of those around here [except those that have been previously published], remind me that I can find something else to write about, perhaps by staring at paint chips.)