Field Notes: Jacob Boak

by | Field Notes, LS 2022, VW 2022

The following three haiku are a reflection of my experience so far. They are meant to come one after another, with no more separation than the physical indentation that is between them.

tossing and turning
the storm wants to chat…
maybe for an hour

my head in my hands,
I wept on this mountainside
yearning to fit in

in this wilderness
my rain tarp begins to flap –
the end of August

In the spirit of transparency, I wish to clarify the meaning.

The first line in the first haiku, “tossing and turning” implies difficulty in this type of work when I did not really expect it. The storm mentioned was one that occurred in the beginning of the season. A test, of sorts. So when some of the others were asleep, I stayed awake to listen, confused at the struggle that could be felt inside.

The second haiku is more straightforward. I felt an increasing rise in my doubt for the reason that I felt I did not belong with the group of people I was working with. I shed a few tears after being told what the deal was (poor communication) and how I ought to fix it (apply greater efforts to understand the team’s general flow of communication). Here, however, quite literally on that mountainside, I let it out. Soon after, I swallowed it.

The third haiku conveys the true nature of both the first and second haiku; that being impermanence. Those feelings I was having did not last. The third line, “the end of August”, implies that August will soon come to its end, and then September will, and so on and so forth until I am (possibly) lucky enough to become a decrepit, old, and lowly man who uses a cane to get around. “My rain tarp begins to flap” is another way of saying, “My understanding has resonated,” or, “I am finally met with the wind (Nature).” That is all.