writer | wanderer | photographer

For such a simple prompt, the answer is anything but. But that’s the point, isn’t it?

In writing, embracing the obvious is pruning extraneous ideas, plotlines, characters, words. In photography, because our brains filter out such a large portion of the world, often finding the obvious is what becomes striking.

using my phone’s flash
rummaging through my backpack —
looking for my phone

I like haiku for a lot of reasons. A good haiku overflows without feeling overstuffed. Its brevity forces me to strip away all that isn’t absolutely necessary. And in the process, I turn from the metaphorical to the real, from communicating ideas to sharing feelings.

From grasping the obscure to embracing the obvious.

And it’s this process of embracing the obvious that reveals the otherwise imperceptible. As a writer, I can deliver a story without ballast; as a photographer, I can show the world around us in its real glory.

I like writing haiku, and I like combining it with photography (i.e. creating a modern haiga) because it keeps me in a state of mindfulness. The more I practice it, the more it becomes my normal state of being. And I like writing these haiblogs (blogs written in a somewhat haibun-style) because they combine haiku with blogging, with the same state of mindfulness and awareness.

Today’s prompt to “embrace the obvious” helped me to look at what I do and why I do it. As I was looking around me for the obvious, I realized that the real obvious is myself and how I see the world.

Understanding myself, and finding the extraordinary in what otherwise feels ordinary (downright boring, often) is important. That inward mindfulness, interestingly, puts me in better context with the world. What's everyday to me can be exotic to someone else. Whatever's boring enough for my brain to filter it out of my mind is likely excitingly fresh and new to someone else. Being a creator means being true to who you are, using your words, telling your stories, sharing your views. And it's a challenge to be mindful of that.

This 30-day challenge is a journey, and every journey needs someone to embark on it. That needs to be me.

That's the most obvious I aim to embrace.

wandering the street
letting the world come to me —
the cute cobblestones

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