If traipsing teaches nothing more, it beckons the traveler to wait for a backstory (apologies, Derrida!) in every encounter or first impression.
Consider a haiku by the Japanese master, ‘Issa’, d. 1828 after a life of misfortunes.
waving at the entrance gate
the willow tree.
– trans. H. Henderson
It paints a brush-and-ink picture of what the weary traveler seeks: welcome at day’s end. But there lives a hidden story between these lines. Buffeted by griefs, Issa had been sent away by a severe stepmother though, as heir to the family estate, he had rights to the home he was now denied. Here Issa stands as outsider at his own gate loving the grace of the willow, dismissing all bitterness at his cruel fate.
The mastery is not just of deft and lyric lines. A backstory sings of self-mastery.
Nancy Aldrich Inman says
Loved it. I’m a haiku poetry lover & writer.
Nancy Aldrich Inman
Thank you, Jonathan – here the twist of the hidden backstory is powerful indeed.