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Before Anything 

Before anything  

did or did not go as planned  

you were just yourself  

 

And afterwards, when  

you got or did not get what   

you had hoped you would  

 

you were still there; but  

now with an experience   

you think defines you  

 

ii 

have enough of these  

and you can start to lose track  

of just who you are  

 

am I the result  

of the responses I get  

to the things I do;  

 

or, is who I am  

valuable no matter what  

the response may be? 

 

iii 

if you still have to 

prove yourself…

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Bless All The Mothers 

There she is, my mom. Isn't she lovely?  She doesn’t want me to tell you how old she is.  She tells me she reads this, but I have my doubts.  I bet I could get away with it.  Still, out of an abundance of caution and even more love, I won't. 

What IS important for me to tell you about this mom of mine is that her name is Loretta Anna Carla Marie Therese Lind McCarthy.  She was an only child, raised during the Great Depression by her mother, my grandmother Constance (Connie) who I never met, a…

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Good Enough is All Perfect Was Trying To Be 

Fun week!  Fun couple of weeks, actually, with Easter and a college reunion.  Even so, the most fun thing I do all week is put together this Sunday Haiku Milieu email. 

So imagine this morning, when I realized I hadn't, gulp, posted *anything* haiku related all week, I thought...rut roh!  Best get to finishing some of these half started ideas...for the email. The email!  

But really? That's just the reason I gave myself to do what I wanted to do anyway. 

When the day is done, most artists would…

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Sliding Home 

You only get one group of THOSE college friends. 

You know the ones I mean.  In our case, we spent from 9 am - 1 pm together, and then depending on what shows we were working on, we were together from 7 pm - 11:00 pm.  Then of course, going across the street for Irish nachos and drinks until 1 am.  We were inseparable, less by choice than circumstance, and it was wonderful. And sometimes, terrible!  But mostly, even at the time and most definitely in retrospect, wonderful. 

We had a reunion at the…

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Creating together 

Every year, we celebrate "FriendsMass," Christmas with my friends from college.  It is a moment of sanity in what is typically an insane season.   

Due to Covid, we missed the last two years, and finally got together this weekend. Between the now and the last time we were together, our beloved friend's kids did what kids do: got tall, got great, and got more grown up than we anticipated.  Speaking for this delighted adult, I have great hope for the world with these young people in it. 

Whenever we…

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Midnight in the Kitchen and the power of YES 

Save the Date: Haiku Milieu After Dark show on Friday, May 27, 9 pm at FitzGerald's Sidebar.

So many rituals from when I was a little girl. 
  
As you know, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and go downstairs.  Once I was through opening the pantry door to see how my day would go, I headed to the kitchen to see if there was any ice cream left.  

Often, there wasn’t, but when there was, I might even find a spoon abandoned by a fellow ice cream thief, most commonly a sibling but sometimes…

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The Oracle of the Pantry Door 

When I was little, I really wanted to know how things would turn out. 

My mom still lives in the mid-century, split-level house I grew up in. You'd walk in the front door, have the living room on the immediate right, and the kitchen straight ahead. On the left hand side, there was a short set of stairs up, and then, walking towards the kitchen, a short set of stairs down. 

In perfect alignment with these stairs were two closets. The first one, the one closest to the front door, was for our winter…

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Even Office Supplies Will Do 

So, it was quite a week at the day job. 

You know, the day job, the place that gives us so many things in addition the means of keeping the roof over our heads: new friends! A sense of purpose! Meaningful endeavors that connect you to the larger world!  With the added advantage of unlimited access to source material for songs, haiku and artwork, and all for the one low price of...the entirety of your time, attention, and patience - not to mention physical endurance - during project season. 

So…

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Aaron Mitchell: CREATE. MAKE MISTAKES. CREATE. MAKE MAGIC 

ENJOY THE VIDEO here: https://youtu.be/K-IvGhJZods - THEN READ AARON’S BLOG. 

My friend Aaron Mitchell is a painter, singer, songwriter, band leader, dad, and business owner.  His life's work is creating space for the creative process.  He founded and runs a creative arts incubator, The Outtaspace. 

During one of the many wonderful concerts Robin and I have attended there over the years, Aaron and I struck up a conversation about how the mistakes sometimes become the thing that “makes” the work of…

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#SidewalkRorschach: a scrollable digital totem pole 

#SidewalkRorschach, by Robin Bienemann  
  
Last year, in mid-COVID lockdown, I invented a game I play with my friends on Facebook called #SidewalkRorschach.  
  
The game begins with me walking around my neighborhood alone taking pictures of the sidewalk.  
  
Together my Facebook friends and I create an electronic collage of images with loose connections that we make up as we go along. 
  
The final result is a scrollable digital totem pole bubbling with creative observations and pop culture references. 

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