Global Haiku • Spring 2017
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Ollivia Gonzalez

Essay on
Music & Haiku

Earth Makes Music

Ollivia Gonzalez

The title of this collection is based off of two big parts of my life. The first is because I have grown up traveling everywhere across the United States. I have been fortunate enough to go to every state from the East to the West Coast. My family and I are active and healthy; we climb mountains and probably have been to almost every National Park. The most physically demanding event I have done in my life was walking up the mountain at Pike's Peak, Colorado. It was a mile long and about 40% incline up a hill, and plus the altitude was much higher than in Illinois. This is an accomplishment that I will never forget. Most of my haiku is about nature and I admire nature's works.

The other idea behind the title is my love of music. Music is a huge part of my life. I have been playing piano since I was 2 years old and it has been a religious habit to play when I feel it is necessary. In high school, I started taking classical lessons and had a fantastic teacher who helped me succeed to continue my passion at Millikin. I earned awards and certificates from competitions at Augustana College and St. Ambrose University in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. My passion is composing songs and during my junior year of high school, 2013, I won the Junior Composers Competition at University of Minnesota. This was when I started to write songs and become comfortable with how my voice sounded. I had the opportunity to record in a studio at McNally Smith college, where the school of music is just for composers/songwriters. After all of this experience, I came to Millikin because this music program was intense and this is where I thought I could grow towards a professional career as a pianist.

After an intense year during the summer of 2016, I noticed pain in my wrist. I did not think it was serious, since my pain tolerance is quite high, until I couldn't play at 100% of my ability for one minute. I was diagnosed with tendonitis in my wrists, which I did not at all expect. I had to discern what I should do next; I enjoy classical music, but I had to think about injuring my wrists and possibly getting carpal tunnel, which is not healthy. I knew if I kept playing or practicing 6 hours a day, I would probably have to have surgery by the end of my senior year in college. It was hard to decide on my future, so I changed my major to Psychology because I have been interested in this study since high school. However, I am still a music minor. Almost a year after taking a break from practicing piano or playing to the level I had been playing, I will be taking lessons again this summer and I am more than anxious to start again.

Overall, music and nature have been a significant part of my life. Writing haiku this semester made me feel all sorts of emotions connecting to nature and music. I enjoyed this class and writing haikus made me think and dig out my emotions for each haiku I composed. To be honest, it inspired me to play classical piano again because discussing my haiku or presenting about music made me realize that this is still a huge part of my life that I cannot forget.

reflecting back
as the moon
seeks the sun

i have always found beauty in
the freedom you have
when you're alone with the stars

civil rights
black and white keys
a piano

Valentine's Day
hope this guy stops
talking about his dead cat

alone with the trees
nature seems to
speak only to me

singing by the fire
with all my friends
only way to warm my heart

"I wanna hold your hand'
he reads
the wedding vows

little fingers
reaching for my fries
for the third time

in our first home
we danced
on the bare floors

blue birds dance
to the rustling of leaves
earth makes music

She Speaks

eyes closed
trees breathing
calming wind

quietly stirs
nature speaks

blue birds dance
to the rustling of leaves
earth makes music

mind wonders
scenes of past

deep brown eyes
holding hands
laying here next to you

world is old
and so are we

© 2017, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.