Thursday, February 11, 2016

Carpe Diem #916 Temperature (Warmth/ Coolness)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

From a sunny The Netherlands I welcome you all at a new episode of Carpe Diem. This month we are sharpening our senses through the essays written by Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate) and this day that will be Temperature (Warmth/ Coolness), but first this:

Our "Time" kukai is running to its end and this is the final call for submissions. You can email your haiku (a max of three, new and never published earlier haiku) for this "Time" kukai to our emailaddress: Please write "kukai Time" in the subject line. You can email your haiku until February 14th 10.00 PM (CET).


Today it's all about temperature warmth/coolness and Hamish has written another nice post in which he refers also to that famous "frogpond" haiku by (my master) Matsuo Basho:

old pond
frog jumps

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

A free-style way of translation, but I love it. In this haiku you (maybe) can see and feel "temperature" because of it's first and third line. Why? Let me try to explain that idea to you.
In the first line "old pond" I associate old with "cold" and the third line "splash!" with "warmth". I think it's not necessary to explain that further.

In his essay following Hamish tells you all more about "temperature (warmth / coolness)" in his own special way.

Hamish on temperature (warmth / coolness)

We all feel temperature in a slightly different way, even though the temperature itself is consistent. That shows us how we are all a little bit different - or have experienced different pasts, live in different cultures, or simply express ourselves differently, even subconsciously. In Northern Scotland, 25°C would be described as a heat wave, but in South Sudan it might be seen as nice and cool.

With temperature also comes changes in pressure. We can easily feel pressure we realize it is there, but sometimes changes in weather and air pressure can cause headaches or pains in some people. Pressure detection uses a system consisting of three appendages of vertebrae transferring changes in shape of the tiny gas bladder to the middle ear. This can also be used to regulate the buoyancy of fish. Fish and amphibians also perceive pressure through water current detection, and both are also sensitive to low-frequency vibrations. In mammals  receptor hair cells are used for vestibular sense and hearing and are used primarily for navigation, hunting, and schooling. The receptors of the electrical sense are modified hair cells in the lateral line system.

Cuttlefish can also perceive the polarization of light, and bees use polarized light direction/detection to orient themselves, especially on cloudy days. Most people can learn to roughly detect large areas of polarization by an effect called Haidinger's brush, however this is considered an entopic phenomenon rather than a separate sense. Spiders detect mechanical strain in the exoskeleton, providing information on force and vibrations. Electro location allows dolphins, porpoises, whales and monotremes (such as the platypus) to locate prey based on electrical signals generated by contracting muscle, showing that the senses of pressure and temperature are senses using a multifold of skills and abilities with the different animals in our ecosystem. 

How can you illustrate this through a haiku? Pick an animal covered in the text and see if you can make us relate to the pressure or electric vibrations they feel, either consciously or by instinct. This might be a spider on a web, or a dolphin swimming through the sea or jumping, or Basho's simple frog...

My response

Temperature ... what to do with this theme in a haiku bringing it together with nature? That will not be easy, but of course I tried it and this is what came up:

dolphins' song
climbs the late evening breeze
waves gently roll

© Chèvrefeuille

this summer night
lying on the beach with my love
the cool breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Two nice haiku if I may say so ... that first haiku means a lot to me and in the depths of this haiku you can read that we once were part of the sea and conquered the earth. It's part of the Nommos mythology that we rose from the waters.

Dogon Tribe mythology; Nommos
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 14th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Direction, later on. Have fun!

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