I Wasn’t Just Floating The River That Day…

Feature Photo: Taken by D. Smith

Friday, July 3, 2020

The morning before the feature photo was taken, I thought to myself, “self,” and I responded, “what?” Then went on to think….

‘Let’s be extraordinary today…’

It was Wednesday, August 28th 2019, and just something about that hot summer day. Portland was finally scorching after a mundane June and July. Weeks were falling into the next as time was pretty much happening now… (in my world). To put things in better perspective, I was coming off a rough spring, pressuring myself daily to accomplish one thing not many people think to do.

I began the day in meditation, resting the wings of my often spinning mind, resetting the emotions within, and compartmentalizing the hurt of her leaving me. The day begins with what’s read in between each chapter; from traditional wordart of the Japanese culture I grew up learning, into expressing it on Microsoft Word from the inner thoughts of my meditative soul.

After writing a few haiku poems in it’s original 5-7-5 syllable format, my friend calls me saying, “it’s hot… likely the last of the summer so let’s float, bro!” (or something like that…)

And, “hell yeah,” I responded.

I first thought about it because I wanted to be extraordinary and continue with what I saw myself accomplishing. You know, the one thing not many people would do…

So, I went with the flow, took my puppy out into the park, and then got my medium best swim trunks ready. Within an hour we were on our way to float the Sandy River east of Portland.

But first, we ate a sandwich.

While waiting in the drive-thru of the sandwich joint, I pulled out my phone and began writing more haiku. The same haiku that’s read in chapter one of AN EYE BETWEEN MY HAIKU, was being written en route to the river you see me floating on in the feature photo.

Once we got floating, I couldn’t help but to embrace trees ashore the river, a smothered gleaming sun, sand, mountains, and Portland’s cold river water.

When I got home from our four hour float, I went straight to Word and transpired my prior surroundings onto a manuscript. Although traditional haiku implies two images juxtaposed to create a poem by bringing them together through serenity, I used my imagination and memory—reminiscing the moments in float.

Now, when you see the future photo, it’s not just a black man on a river, it’s me on a carpe diem trip. I’m blissed the fuck out and embracing the environment to create the haiku below: (no paraphernalia needed)

Today, you’ll make it.

Decisions you could regret.

Just do—carpe diem.

Far is a driver.

Deliver me to success.

I’ve had enough breaths.

You could do it wrong.

Fail to let strong be—it’s you.

Then breathe in rear view.

Sunlight here you are.

Mistakes are for fool’s fellow.

Trees pass in shadow.

Creatives now born.

All day you lay so lazy.

You must pay to play.

If the dog barks, swim.

Be you for virtue—stay me.

You owe no one; self.

Back to becoming extraordinary… which is all hype if you couldn’t tell. Although I completed the book in 21 days, my only goal was to have creative work selling on Amazon.com. I didn’t care for a bestseller, but rather an expression in time for what propelled me. I was broke, in heartache, and learning to embrace loneliness. After most of the advice I got was to slow down and go back to work, I rebelled at the hint of my inner being’s mark. He’s a beast.

It, he, or whatever, told me to just write it; you’re a natural born creative and no one’s going to help sell your thoughts.

And that’s one of the many fears I challenged myself to face last year. Knowing it wouldn’t be appealing to popular practice, I went forth passing everything standing in my path to get that book done.

Moral of this journey, there’s a price to pay for being stubborn. There’s also a price to pay for becoming extraordinary. It’s something not many think to pursue. And why? I don’t know, ask yourself.

Don’t have an answer? Well, now you know the price I pay…



For More On This Series…

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