June 4, 2011
An iris shakes me;
sleeping is temporary,
but waking is slow.
The slow unfolding of the three iris petals, a kind of awakening of the flower, can be a catalyst for a more personal awakening as this haiku describes, as well as an appropriate metaphor for that personal awakening. The process is gradual, the work often invisible.
Iris is also another name for rainbow, taken from Greek mythology’s rainbow goddess who in The Iliad (an early ring composition) was, interestingly enough, the messenger of the gods. A definite wake-up call to receive such a message!
In addition, iris refers to the pigmented membrane surrounding the pupil that adds color enough so I can claim my eyes are blue and my wife’s eyes are green. More importantly, the iris also contains muscles that adjust the amount of light that enters. It allows the awakening to more light to be gradual.