In 2005, when an'ya passed the editorship of this journal to me, she gave me an important piece of advice: stick to a regular publication schedule. I've remembered that, and through these past eight years Haigaonline has continued to appear bi-annually in June and December, on or roughly around the summer and winter solstices. Now, an important announcement regarding a change of schedule:
For me, the seasons of summer and winter have always been deeply resonant—I love the memories of those endless days of summer vacation, knee-deep with childhood friends in a small creek that ran through our back yard. Who doesn't thrill to the first dusting of white on the mountains, the prospect of an unexpected day off from school, sledding and snowball fights, building the best ever snowman in the front yard. Spring and autumn? Nice, but they were a pass-through between the really important seasons.
Well, yes, but you've ever become involved with renku, you'll have realized that with hokku/haiku or related forms, spring and autumn are the "major seasons"; summer and winter are "minor". Transition and impermanence is fundamental to renku—and, by extension, to haiku too. As I've become attuned to this way of thinking about season, I've begun to think about doing more to align the journal with it. Thus, following this issue, December 2012, we're moving to a March/September rotation, to coincide roughly with the spring and autumn equinoxes.
How better to do so than to end our old publication schedule with an issue dedicated to the winter sun? For Western calendars, the solstice marks the start of winter, but it's also when the sun begins its journey northward again. With that in mind, the following spring haiku by Issa seems appropriate as a signature poem for this issue:
kagerô ni shiki-i wo koeru asahi kana
the morning sun
crosses the threshold
tr. D. Lanoue
Many thanks to David Lanoue for his permission to use it. Many thanks also to everyone who has supported Haigaonline by giving us your poetry and art work, to our resident team of artists, Mary, Hiromi, Shisen, Choshi, Jasminka, and once again to Carol Raisfeld for her proofreader's eagle eye. We hope you had a happy solstice, whether winter or summer.