A couple of nights ago, I led a tiny group of us into the desert night in search of an unusual muse: the desert sand scorpion. We gathered in hopes of Mother Nature inspiring us to write haiku poetry as we experienced the quiet company of one of her “less cuddly” creatures. Armed with blacklights, our poetry journals and a pen, the three of us ventured into the moonless night, exploring secret dunes.
The scorpions did not disappoint! The moment we flicked on our blacklights, two sand scorpions were immediately revealed by their bright greenish glow, right where we stood. During the next 30 minutes, we counted 30 scorpions, and by the end of our time, just over an hour, we stopped counting at around 50! It might sound frightening, but these creatures wanted nothing to do with us, they simply remained in their “hunting” stance waiting for a juicy insect to happen by, seemingly unaffected by our attention.
After a bit, we separated among the dunes to write haiku inspired by this experience. Standing there (no sitting, everywhere we checked with our lights, we would find a scorpion!), we wrote lines with the words collected in our thoughts throughout the night: anxious, mysterious, fun, glowing, fascinating, delightful, darkness, dunes….etc. Below are three haiku poems that this magical desert creature inspired in me.
What I loved about this night was the idea of two fellow creatives who had never done anything like this before, braved through their initial apprehension or anxiety of actually seeing the scorpions. It became quite fun, the more we spotted–not scary. The idea of the night was to push our comfort zones. The scorpions were symbolic of our fears, our inner critics and experiencing them in a positive way lead to creative release (releasing our anxiety blockers!)–one of the other participants wrote 4 haiku in just 15 minutes. Not only was our goal of poetry met, but these little muses brought out the photographer in us as well–each of us giving a go at tricky night time photography.
What creature would you rather avoid in nature? I’ve found that when you learn a little more about its natural history, their adaptations and survival strategies are quite amazing. Even better…go experience its natural environment if you can and let it inspire you 🙂 Discover how it could help you through your creative anxiety or blocks.
Feel free to share your haiku with me in the comments, I love reading them.
* * *