Rock and Roll Yogi

sonic wisdom, stories, sojourns from an artist rocker writer

Archive for the category “House Renovation & Design”

Construction Haiku

So it all started when I noticed on FaceBook some gal friends sharing Haiku every now and then in their status updates.  Singer Chaney Sims shares lines like:

43. my skin feels naked / bald and raw as a new egg / with no brooding hen #365 #haiku, C. Sims

Love it.  I enquired about this Haiku Club – What did I have to do to become a member?  And oh yeah, What’s the Syllabic Arrangement again???  She encouraged me to try my own: “5-7-5.  ain’t no joke!”

Let the construction begin:


I put on my proverbial Haiku Hard hat and got to work:

Transformation day
One. I am muscle, hammer,
Nail. Building my life.

Haiku #1, K. Elevitch


It felt good to birth that first 17 syllable baby.  There’s freedom in discipline.

Having one’s house torn up from the inside out inspires a lot of imagery for writing material.  And its true what Chaney says – it “ain’t no joke” – there’s something powerful and seriously hardcore truth telling about trying to find your inner life/outer reality expressed in such concise, restricted structure.

I think that’s why I love photography.  The frame caught lives in such a short moment of time, but becomes timeless in the act of catching it.  Writing the Haiku feels like I’m creating that timeless moment.

What would your Haiku be for my current front yard centerpiece?


I try to make my Haiku make sense, (beginning, middle, end?  Place/Time/Feeling?) but sometimes its true, they seem like odd non-sequiturs.  And maybe that’s OK.

refrigerate haiku

At least now the Fridge Pic has its own poem.

My fellow Rock and Roll Yogi Shelley Nicole is also on the Haiku Bandwagon:

The songs in my heart
Keep singing. Now if they would 
Only reach my hands…

Haiku #24, S. Nicole

A mantra for artists everywhere.

Piano Hands

The other day, I finally started to work on a new song, after what felt like an endless amount of time post-Sandy.  The piano was the only thing still in this room when I began writing it:

Skylight Storm

Sometimes being displaced, and hit in the head (literally) can open us up to some new creative flow.

The roof is ripped off
Shingles, beams, insulation
The sky is my crown

Haiku #2, K. Elevitch

And it really did feel that way.  Liberating.  Deconstruction has its moments.

Chaney was inspired to do daily Haiku (I’m not on the daily kick quite yet, but give it time!) by The Haiku Project.  A FB/Twitter Feed of original daily Haiku written by – ?  I don’t know if the author has publicly shared her name?  Let me know if you know…

She posts with gorgeous images paired with the poems on her tumblr site.  I recommend visiting it.

Here’s my latest haiku – from this AM, resuming my meditation practice after a week of running around with a tape measure and overalls and making decisions on window placement:

Sit on zafu, breathe.
Power tool buzz, boot stomp, crash.
Reality births.

Haiku #3, K. Elevitch

Sandy birthed poetry – and the realization that in order to find peace during mindfulness sitting mediation – or in life – it doesn’t need to be quiet.  Sometimes the sudden, traumatic, and ongoing stress of life can yield unexpected moments of clarity, beauty and acceptance.

For those gifts I am truly grateful.

When The Tree of Life Falls on Your Head: Sandy 2012

Dear Readers:

My last entry ended with a photograph of a giant drippy nostril.  I was readying to write about the silliness and the challenge of teaching and doing yoga with a cold during my “7 Days and Nights in Yoga Land” explorations.

Alas, as fate would have it, Super Storm Sandy had something else in mind:

Tree On House 2

And this. Sigh.

Tree on house-South

And this?! Whaat?

This Was My Desk

That tree is hovering where I sat every morning.  Musing about dripping noses and RRY-isms.  FB-ing. Organizing. Working. Archiving. Creating Calm in a Chaotic World.  My desk – made of solid wood – is no where to be found.  It has vanished into dumpster food.  Ironically, just prior to the drippy nose entry, I wrote about the various mud piles and trenches and other uglies of our yard project getting in the way of my Enlightenment.  I think someone or something wanted to drive a point home – All Things Are Temporary.


My archives, lyrics, cds, dvs, tapes – “Saved” from the other room, pre storm.  That didn’t work so well because the tree decided to gauge a hole through 3 rooms.

Skylight Storm

The cats enjoyed this hole in the ceiling.  It allowed them easy access to the outside, where they climbed the tree all day long and perched on branches.  I think they thought this was the best thing that ever happened to them.

KitchenStorm 2

When the 90′ tall, 100 year-old Oak Tree fell, I was standing in front of the stove, mom was next to the breakfast bar, and Ira was in front of the sink.  We’re still not quite sure why Ira wasn’t impaled by that branch sticking through the wall over the sink.  Ceiling dry wall and/or a section of a large branch hit me hard on the head, as I fell to the floor, and Ira was badly bruised (we found out later) in several places on his torso. We both had minor scratches and cuts.  Just in case, we took a harrowing midst of the storm trip to the (thankfully) nearby Nyack Hospital.  First responders led us through our neighbor’s yard under huge fallen trees, and in insanely whipping winds.  It was terrifying being out in the thick of it.  But we made it.

Hospital hand

As Ira waited with me to get a CAT scan, we met members of another family from nearby Pearl River, who also had a tree fall on them while they were all watching TV in their living room.  They were not so lucky.  Their father died from his injuries and the mother and sister were seriously injured.  Ira and I looked at one another in that moment with tears in our eyes.  I knew then that we would be OK.  No matter what was in front of us, we had one another.  And Mom.

Smiling Buddha beacon of light that she is.  She was miraculously unharmed.  Not even a scratch.

Mom and Nik Storm Pic

That’s my brother Nik with her at her home in Palisades, NY during the ensuing week or so of no power.

So in summary.  When literally the ceiling falls on your head – and  your family – causing you to hug the floor and close your eyes – and a giant Oak Tree branch is perilously close to where your beloved was just standing, let’s just say the old adage of “gaining a new perspective” has never seemed less cliche and more real.

This is only the beginning of many entries devoted to this incident, my resulting state of mind, and all the related adventures and challenges.  I hope you’ll stay tuned in to this journey.

Not only will I be coming back to my yoga and meditation practice and study with new energy (Just started a Meditation Teacher training in NYC at Integral Yoga Institute with Cyndi Lee), but we just secured the contractor for all the repairs including a kitchen gut and total reno.  I can’t wait to keep you posted on everything mind, body and design. I may even have some video footage of demo and rebuild (RRY-TV exclusives!)  Watch out HGTV!. 😉

In the mean time-check this out:  I’ll be debuting my first Yoga/Arts Workshop at the glorious new Community/Arts/Yoga gathering space, Union Center Arts in Sparkill, NY.  Saturday January 26th 2-4pm, in the beautiful 2nd Floor Quincy Hall:

Quincy Hall-jpeg

Ahhhh….Doesn’t just looking at that wide open space make you breathe a little deeper and feel inspired?

Creativity Flow Workshop 1/26/13, 2-4pm, Only $10!

Re-Ignite Your Creative Spark! FB Event Invite

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