Conversation 29: THE DAILY HAIKU INTERVIEWS: Cathryn Stone

introduction

Hello from Tasmania, the island state of Australia. I’ve written bits and pieces all my life. I’ve written poems, short stories and even songs, and have done that on and off for years. I’ve mostly kept them to myself although occasionally shared them on facebook/Instagram.

1

I’ve had multiple sclerosis since at least 1984, maybe earlier. Amongst other things, it affects word retrieval and use of language. That’s why I had to give up writing patterns. In about 2016 my brain forgot how to write cursive so to try and force it to learn again, I had the idea to invent my own written language. It’s actually a substitution cipher which I called Stonic script. I wrote using that script every day for many months. Eventually I remembered how to write cursive again but I still use Stonic script for all my journaling.

2

Back in 2018 I had a dream one night that I could speak another language called Atucani (that doesn’t actually exist in real life) and when I woke up I could still speak some so I recorded it and have been slowly adding to it since then. I have deliberately made writing part of my life as I was afraid that MS might affect it even more.

3

In September 2020 I started a ‘post-it note every day’ creative challenge and wanted to incorporate writing so hit on the idea of using haiku. I’d never written any before but felt that these little bite-sized pieces of writing might work to challenge me without being too mentally taxing. The more I did, the more I enjoyed it! They looked kind of unfinished when written on a post-it note so I started adding funny little drawings to them and now get as much enjoyment from the drawings as from writing the haiku. I suppose that makes them more like haiga than haiku. I tend more towards a non-traditional style. At this stage, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself so they are mostly light-hearted.

4

Finding The Daily Haiku group has been such a blessing! Meeting people in real life is very difficult due to some of my MS symptoms but being able to meet like-minded people in this group is wonderful. Over the last few years I have become increasingly isolated but now I feel like I’m connected to people again.  Such a variety in style and experience in the group, and everyone is so encouraging and supportive. One of the best things to happen is that my husband has also found a creative voice using haiku.

6

It’s very hard to choose just a couple of haiku to show here. These are some of my favourites. Thank you so much, Amanda, for the group and the opportunity to tell a little of my story here.

 

 

 

 

 

33 Comments on “Conversation 29: THE DAILY HAIKU INTERVIEWS: Cathryn Stone”

  1. Your story has really touched me Cathryn and that THE DAILY HAIKU has made you feel more connected is wonderful. I love your post-it haiku and drawings, they lift my spirits. A sense of connection, nurturing and support within a creative space is what I hoped we could achieve at THE DAILY HAIKU and you exemplify all that I hoped we might become. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your haiku and your creativity.

    1. Thank you so much, Amanda. I appreciate that. We are all so lucky that you formed this group and that you continue to develop the wonderful atmosphere that makes it such a pleasure to be involved in. The group just seems to attract all the nicest people!

  2. You are an inspiration to all of us. The down to earth manner in which you have approached your challenges are salutory. Your humour and creativity are exemplary, and I am proud to share this space with you.

    1. Oh Stan, thank you! You are one of the members I admire so much. Your poetry is so beautifully written and I look forward to reading it every day.

  3. You know how much I, indeed all of us, I’m sure, love your words, but your quirky, simple, little drawings add that extra dimension, which lifts your contributions to a whole other level. And the fact you achieve all that, while coping with your illness just leaves me in awe of you! So glad you found us, and that we help make your life a bit better.

    1. Thank you so much, Jenny. I love doing the drawings. I have a little collection of them now, just waiting for the right words. You are one of the people who make this group so lovely, always there with some encouragement. I’m glad I found you all too.

  4. Cathryn, your presence is a present to those of us as THE DAILY HAIKU. I’ve admired your sketches and your verses since my first read. Now that I’ve read your Conversation with Amanda and learned about your illness I am amazed and even more impressed. You are an inspiration in oh so many ways. I look forward to seeing more of your Post-It Note Haiku. By the way, I live in Minnesota, the original home of Post-it Brand (a trademark of 3M.) I wonder if they’d be interested in your story and your haiku?

    1. Thank you, Wendy. I appreciate that very much. If I can turn your first sentence around, The Daily Haiku is a gift I gave to myself. I look forward to reading your haiku and seeing your glorious photos! I’m not sure if 3M would be interested or not, I’d be too cowardly to approach them haha.

  5. Cathryn, I think you joined around the same time as I did…latter Sept. 2020 (which I didn’t know that at the time)? I thought you had been doing these with this group for a long time. I immediately wanted a calendar of your post-its with all the precious gems you seem to spew out daily!! I still think when the stars align you should do this! (smile) (no stress). I’m messin’ with you, but I am captivated about your journey and your language you found to get back to writing cursive. Amazing! Thank you for being here. You are Why. I hope we all can continue this long after that ol’ monster gets tired and leaves. I wish you and your husband the best in life! Haiku on!!

    1. Thank you so much, Connie. You’re always ready with a comment of support and encouragement, and I appreciate you very much. When the stars align, I’ll definitely let you know! All the best to you too. xx

  6. A whole galaxy
    of emotion contained in
    solitary tear.

    Really nice.

    There is a lesson in you yourself!

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Cathryn, what a great interview. I love your alternative language ideas and that shows how creative you are. I love all your post-it haiku – they bring me joy every day. Such deep simplicity. Thank you for being there ❤️

    1. Thank you, Vivien. It’s interesting trying to find different ways to be creative when dealing with limitations.

  8. Now, I never look at a post-it note without thinking of you, Cathryn. Thank you for documenting your story in such a gentle way, that touches the heart.

    And for your unparalleled contributions to Stonic runes and the Atucani language, the leader in the field!


    blackbird
    broken wing
    still sings

    1. Thank you, Keith. I appreciate that. It’s nice to be the leader in the field in something hee hee. I love your haiku. So much meaning in just 5 words.

  9. Your post-it notes really do spark joy and through simplicity we all share in your fun and creativity. I have a friend with MS and so much of what you say resonates with me. How lucky we are to have you with us in the group.

  10. Well Cathryn, what can I say that has not already been said? I also love your little inspirational drawings, you are an innovative marvel in the world of Haiku. You always brighten my day especially the dark, dark days. THE DAILY HAIKU is a far better place with your assosiation with it, thank you

    1. Thank you, Frank. I don’t think I’ve been an innovative marvel before! I hope to keep sharing the post-it notes for as long as I can. Thanks for your kind comments.

    1. Thanks, Phil. I love your haiku. There is definitely wonder in words. Using words to tell a story in 17 syllables is the best kind of challenge. 🙂

  11. Love your post it Haiku…..they always bring a smile to my face. Thank you Cathryn for your lovely, original and heart warming contributions…. ❣️
    I am so pleased that being part of the group is helping you health wise too….🙏

    1. Thank you so much, Vivienne. Being part of this group has helped in ways that I really hadn’t expected at the start. It’s been a wonderful experience. Plus I get to meet all of you lovely people too!

  12. Great Cathryn! Being able to live with MS with such a positive and creative way is really admirable. I hope you continue and pursue your beautiful and personal haiku way for all of us in the group and of course for yourself and your husband.

    1. Thank you so much, Sebastian. I will continue as long as I can, that’s for sure. Thank YOU for your contributions of classic haiku for us to ponder and discuss. It has sent me off to research poets that I had previously never heard of, and I enjoy it very much.

  13. So much more to you
    Your sketches and your poems
    Tip of the iceberg

    I have always known that great beauty lies in simplicity and your Post-it Notes with Haiku Verses is such an exemplary display of this truth. Sitting worlds apart, getting to know you through your works is so joyful. You are such a valiant fighter Cathryn and that is what inspires me most!!! I am sure that there is so much more to you and I hope to unravel that one Post-it at a time. God bless you and Murray immensely.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Ravi. You are always ready with encouragement and support, and I appreciate it very much. Getting to know other group members from other parts of the world is a wonderful bonus of this group. Best wishes to you too.

  14. Wonderful to see your small gallery of haiku here, I can imagine them and more in a book to lift so many people’s hearts. You do that already here. I’d be honoured to own just one of them.
    I’m intrigued by your other language and symbolic writing you devised. How marvelous is the brain that can do that when other faculties take a rest.
    It’s wonderful to have this connection with you, we are indeed all a family xx

    1. Thank you, Judith. That’s very kind of you. A few people have mentioned the idea of a book but I wouldn’t know how to go about that. I’ll have to think about it. I might put up some samples of the other languages on the group pages soon. Maybe a haiku in each of them. The brain is definitely a wonderful mysterious thing.

  15. Catherine, you’re amazing and talented and amazingly strong of mind. I am so happy to hear that you challenge yourself instead of giving up. I love your post it notes they are inspiring to all l believe and to create something and make it yours.

    1. Thank you, Zee! I appreciate your kind comments. At least the post-it notes make me feel as if I’m doing something creative even if it isn’t much. My stick figure drawing has certainly picked up though!

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