June 30, 2011
The green garter snake
again sneaks round underfoot,
returns to hiding.
I had the opportunity to visit the M. C. Escher Museum in Den Hague this past summer (July 8, 2011) which contains all his works. His early works seemed to have influenced the children’s book illustrator Chris Van Allsberg’s art who plays with perspective in some similar ways. I was fascinated by Escher’s grappling with the expression of eternity and infinity as he worked in two-dimensional art. I was already immersed in my haiku circles and to me there seemed to be a connection between what he was trying to express and what my cycle of poems was (r)evolving into. Then, in one of the last rooms of the exhibit was Escher’s final print, the woodcut Ringslangen [The Ring Snake], and I stood before the print in pure astonishment, struck with wonder by what I saw.
Sometimes you feel you are on a “real” path – that small voice inside you subtly lets you know. Other times you are blessed with signposts along the way, like breadcrumbs in a dark forest, which reassure you that where you are and where you are headed is right where you are supposed to be. Escher’s Ringslangen was the most magical of breadcrumbs and it immediately became the entrance and exit for my ring’s mid-turn. This haiku also forms the latch for the month of June. The symbolic snake creates a circle, closes the circle and joins it back with June 1 by shedding its skin and being reborn.