Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Wabi-Sabi and the Shy Hero's Adventures

This Round Robin Challenge, "wabi-sabi," (as suggested by Coy) threw me at first.  Even with Carly's explanation, I was unsure what the concept meant, and what I could photograph to illustrate it.  mouse-eye view of the carpetWikipedia says that the wabi-sabi aesthetic "is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, or incomplete."  The entry goes on to quote Andrew Juniper as saying, "if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi sabi."

Uh, okay.  I sorta kinda understand now, and I know what I want to photograph for this. Unfortunately, the subject isn't cooperating!

This entry is supposed to be about one of the mice that periodically invade our house. (Your first reaction may be "eww" or "eek," but the truth is that this is absolutely the cutest little gray mouse you could ever hope to see.)  This particular gray mousie got extra rambunctious on the night of the VIVI awards chats, and showed himself repeatedly.  I was within two feet of him several times, but I was never able to catch him on camera. So instead you're getting a perversion of the assignment: pictures of where Gray Mousie has been, accompanied by my usual long-winded perversion of Japanese poetry, what I call "epic haiku." Here we go:

The Adventures of Gray Mousie

a mousie hazard - my chair!

Gray mousie looks out
Across the darkened room
For signs of movement.

All is static, so
He takes off, runs for the door,
A streak of gray fur.
Gray mousie slips unseen
Beneath dark electronics
And stops to watch again.

Mousie's quick and bold:
Darts past human foot so fast,
Human eye gets lost.

the mousie's routea route to foodMousie knows the route:
Up the counter, 'neath the mail,
Then behind the sink.

Human looks at mouse:
Mousie knows she can't catch him.
In a flash, he's gone.

Mousie has found food:
Drying on fresh dinner plates,
Wedged in tines of forks.

Mousie cannot stay.
Tempting food is too exposed.
Mousie scampers on.

Down a power cord,
Mousie finds more hidden food,
Bounty from the stove.

All of this is true,
But gray mousie's more cautious
Since the VIVI night.

brown mousie cowers.

Brown mousie was caught,
Trapped in small gray box with cheese,
But gray mousie's free.

Both gray traps were shut,
Yet just brown mousie emerged
When we opened them.

Amid stones and weeds,
We let poor brown mousie go.
He stayed there, trembling.

Ever since the night
Both of the gray traps were sprung
Gray mousie's been scarce.

Has gray mousie outsmarted the no-kill box?
I hear him in the grate,
Catch a glimpse and whoops! He's gone.
Do I hear him now?

Mousie, I love you.
I wish that we could share this house,
But this must not be.

In the box you'll go,
To be released outside, where
You may yet survive.

Coyotes, cats and birds
Wait to eat you, little mouse.
Hide, gray mousie!  Hide!

The story's not ended, obviously.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Heh. Seems to me this is definitely wabi-sabi: it's incomplete (no resolution, and no picture of gray mousie) imperfect (in a perfect world, there would be no hidden way for a mouse to sneak in, and the house would be perfectly clean at all times), AND impermanent (this drama will not last long, and neither will the mouse).



Please visit all the Round Robin participants:

Coy...Dancing in the Rain:  http://journals.aol.com/coy1234787/Dancingintherain  Posted!

Karen...Musings from Mâvarin:  http://journals.aol.com/mavarin/MusingsfromMavarin/  Posted!

Sara...Photographic Memories:  http://journals.aol.com/shedrawsanime/PhotographicMemories/  Posted!

Kimberleigh...I shaved my legs for this?:  http://journals.aol.com/demandnlilchit/LifeasIliveit/ 

Reneé...Timeless Calligraphy Studio:  http://journals.aol.com/acyrlicstains/publish/  Posted!

Carly...Ellipsis:  http://journals.aol.com/ondinemonet/Ellipsis  Posted!

Kat...From Every Angle:  http://journals.aol.com/mskatdabrat/FromEveryAngle/  Posted!

Nancy...Nancy Luvs Pix:  http://journals.aol.com/nhd106/Nancyluvspix/  Posted!

Betty...My Day My Interests:  http://journals.aol.com/rap4143/MyDayMyInterests/  Posted!

Deb...Sassy's EYE:  http://journals.aol.com/SassyDee50/SassysEYE/ 

_rRose...WAIT-NOT YET/:  http://journals.aol.com/rrveh1/WAIT-NOTYET-/  Posted!

Steven...(sometimes) photoblog:  http://journals.aol.com/sepintx/sometimesphotoblog/  Posted!

Alan...F-Stop:  http://journals.aol.com/botdotdotdot/F-Stop  Posted!

Tess...First Digital Photos:  http://journals.aol.com/tc01hm/FirstDigitalPhotos/  Posted!

Phinney...Paragon:  http://journals.aol.com/geminiwilder/Paragon  Posted!

Marie...Photographs & Memories:  http://journals.aol.com/mariebm56/PhotographsMemories/entries/794  New! Posted!

Becky...Where Life Takes You:  http://journals.aol.com/ryanagi/Wherelifetakesyou/entries/1523  New!  Posted!

 the floor is a mysterious and dangerous place.   What mousie treasure might be next to the fridge?


ondinemonet said...

Oh great, now I am crying! Sniff, sniff. I am such a girl sometimes!!!

Always, Carly

acyrlicstains said...

Good Morning! Interesting!~
Renee' at

tc01hm said...

What a will-o' the wisp!

ryanagi said...

Aww! While I don't want mice roaming free in my home, they ARE really cute.  Dang! I forgot to sign up for the challenge. I have a photo for it too. Off to do a spur of the moment entry........

globetrotter2u said...

That was adorable! Your haiku (Don't know how to pluralize haiku so I'll leave it singular) turned a lousy old rodent into a special little character! That was a tough challenge! I was not up to it this time around...
A big congrats on your Vivi award! It was so deserved!

mariebm56 said...

This is interesting....
I am glad you made peace with your mouse.

sepintx said...

I went to wikipedia too. It helped but until I started looking at subjects, I was lost. Nice mouse!

mkolasa101 said...

How creative you are.  This was just too, too sweet.  I agree definately "wavi-sabi,".  


coy1234787 said...

    Great entry ... I knew that there would be some VERY creative
Wabi-Sabi entries here in J-Land! Thanks for sharing your epic haiku
mousie adventure with us.
                                *** Coy ***