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Gathering the Rains

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This post is part of a series called How to by Haiku.
Photographs are Alive


samidare o atsumete hayashi Mogami-gawa

gathering the rains
of the wet season — swift
the Mogami River

Outlet of the Mogami river Japan as seen from spaceOutlet of the Mogami river Japan as seen from spaceOutlet of the Mogami river Japan as seen from space
Outlet of the Mogami river, Japan, as seen from space.

Gathering the Rains

Today's inspiration is a poem by Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉, Japan, 1644–1694) and a satellite image of the Mogami River.

The Mogami River

I've never been to Japan, and I likely never will. I don't know what the Mogami River looks like, swelled with monsoon rain. I've never seen a monsoon.

But from high in space, on a clear day with scattered clouds, I know the curves of Mogami river. In these words I can feel the energy of the river, alive and rushing in 1689. That's magic.


Photographs can help us transcend time. They can also let us be in impossible places, like way up high above the clouds.

Sometimes photographs come all at once. Sometimes they come not at all. Sometimes they come completely unexpectedly. Our challenge is to let ourselves, to open up enough to accept these beautiful gifts of circumstance.

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