The Wasp Guru’s Haikus

The wasp on my shoe

And the wasp on my laptop

Taught me of stillness.

Isn’t it funny

How being forced to sit still

With all of my fear

Could teach me about

Sitting still and finding peace

Here in the moment?

Lesson from the wasp:

You are not your body, your

Fear, or your thoughts.

You are merely here

To observe them as they live

And as they, too, die.

Could you maybe just

Relax a little bit and

Not worry so much

If you realized

That nothing could hurt what is

Indestructible?

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5 thoughts on “The Wasp Guru’s Haikus

  1. Hmm. An interesting thought. But what about when you suddenly lose it and go hopping and squealing and flailing into battle, to swat or be stung, and lose your dignity either way? Am I still a creature of universal contemplation, on those occasions when the fear wins?

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    1. Good question! I actually wrote a whole bunch about the experience in my journal before writing this piece. My instinct is to say yes, you are a creature of universal contemplation even on the occasions where fear wins. But it must be taken a step further. To me, a wasp landing on my shoe and my laptop screen triggered my fear response. I’ve actually had a lifelong fear of bees and wasps because I was stung by a wasp when I was four years old and it was kind of traumatic for me. Now, whenever I see a wasp, I have learned to just stay completely still because that’s the best way to avoid conflict with it. So basically minimizing harm and avoiding suffering (in the context of the wasp) means not merely reacting to our fear, but responding to it in a calm and mindful way. And when we don’t do that, it doesn’t make us any less of what we intrinsically are–it just means now we get to spend a bunch of time applying ice and calamine lotion and maybe crying, and also that the next time we see a wasp we’ll be reminded of this time and the cycle will want to repeat itself.

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      1. And then there’s the fact that, at least with the wasps round here, you will sometimes get stung anyway, especially around September, when the old workers are being kicked out of the nest and eating rotten fruit out of bins and turn into little balls of savage nihilism, raging against the coming dark. They’ll sting just for the hell of it. I’m afraid I lose my grip on philosophy at that time of year!

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      2. Hmmm yeah no at that point the philosophical answer is get the heck out of there. Also umm who are you? Where is here? You intrigue me and I like your writing a lot. Okay thanks. Bye.

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      3. Thanks so much for your kind comment! I live in Scotland and my writing is inspired by the West Highlands and the Hebrides, as well as by my own more rural lowland surroundings.

        Our wasps here are what I believe are called “yellowjackets” in the States. Vicious wee thugs (though also important pollinators, I’m led to believe).

        As for who I am, I’m just some random on the Internet, as we all are at the end of the day.

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