Endings



Theme

The theme for this episode is Endings.

If you liked what you heard, share it with a friend. Thanks for listening. See you on your next visit to the pond.

My Haiku & Reflections

Some of us shine bright
Some of us burnout too soon
Make your flame worth it

Life is precious. With the roll of a die, it can change dramatically. Be grateful for every moment.

The following three lines are from a journal entry dated October 31, 2019

In October of 2019, I was performing in an Improv-style comedy show called Quest Quest. It’s the brilliant combination of Improv comedy with Dungeons & Dragons themes, storylines, and rules. The performance even includes character sheets posted so the audience can see the stats and we used a large twenty-sided die for rolls.

The rules in Quest Quest are a simplified version of those used in actual D&D since it’s being performed on a stage performance for a live audience, but it’s just as fun.

I was greatly honored to be able to participate alongside some other very talented actors for this performance. I played the role of Jerkses, a demigod who must fight evil with the help of his mortal compatriots—a leprechaun and a pirate.

Prior to October 31, we had run another show that ended on a cliffhanger where Jerkses finds himself turned into a hot dog after battling zombie-like creatures deep in the sewers of a small town.

For anyone who’s played D&D or any other role playing game, you know that the dice place a critical role in the gameplay. These rolls determine whether you make your mark when you fire your weapon, whether you successfully open a trap door and find a chest of treasure, or whether you live or die.

In Quest Quest, the same applies. In fact, the tagline of the show is “where the deaths are real.” Of course, no one actually dies, but with each iteration of the show a new set of characters and actors are brought to life for a new adventure. In this sense the deaths are quite real from an audience perspective.

Well, we had just begun the second part of the show on Halloween of 2019. There I stood in costume. I had been wearing a robe similar to that of what Hercules wore in the Disney animated film and over the top of that a giant hot dog costume to fit over my 6’2” frame — brilliantly constructed by a friend of mine.

The Dungeon Master prepped the audience with a recap and the characters were brought on stage and activated. In this storyline we were exploring a creepy cemetery (because what else would you explore on Halloween). And here’s where it gets interesting.

Not five minutes into gameplay did the queue for me to roll the die occur. It escapes my memory what triggered the die roll, but I–or rather my character–wanted to explore something. Well, sadly for Jerkses the roll of the die—which is the giant twenty-sided die rolled by the audience—triggered a death roll. And that was that.

Yup, within five minutes of gameplay my character died. I wriggled out of my hot dog costume and left it onstage for dramatic effect. Off stage, I wandered into the audience—a bit dazed and confused—in my normal Jerkses herculean apparel and sat down. There from the audience I watched my comrades, the leprechaun and the pirate, grieve over the deflated hot dog carcass.

It was a surreal moment for me. My character had died at the beginning of what was going to be at least an hour long show. I wasn’t quite sure if I should turn in early — since I had an early morning the next day — or stay and watch the show. I decided to stay. As much as I love being in Quest Quest it’s also great fun watching!

But the surrealism of the moment did not dissipate and I realized that with the roll of a die your life can change in a moment.

I can’t remember if it was at this specific event or one prior to it, but I remember a friend of mine told me his partner had been diagnosed with cancer.

When that die rolled below the threshold of life for Jerkses and I sat in the audience watching the show go on, thinking about the die roll, and the sudden diagnosis of cancer for a friend’s partner, it all hit me in that moment.

Quest Quest is more than a show or a game for joy, but it’s also an apt metaphor for life. Life is filled with randomness and unexpected events, often beyond our control. As I learned on the Quest Quest stage and from my friend’s partner’s diagnosis, life can change rather quickly. What matters most is what happens in the present moment.

As I sat there watching the show go on, that’s what I did. I soaked in the present moment. I watched my friends on stage continue their performance. I watched the audience roar with laughter as strange and bizarre things happened in the haunted cemetery of the Quest Quest world.

Since October 2019, I have often come back to that moment. To that die roll. I know I didn’t not actually die, but it did put things in perspective for me. I have done my best to enjoy being in the present since then.

Admittedly, as a human being I am fallible and I have forgotten this from time to time, but thankfully I continue to remind myself of that moment. Because, in the end, I never know what the next die roll will bring.

And that’s the lesson I take from this haiku and I hope you’re able to take a similar lesson. Wherever you are, take a moment to be present. Name a few things you see, hear, or smell. Maybe write a haiku about it. If you do, I’d love to hear it. You can email it to thehaikupond (at) gmail (dot) com.

Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to David Thorndale for commenting and reminding me about this haiku. I had an idea for this essay, but I couldn’t quite find the right haiku to match. It seems David pointed me in the right direction. Thank you.

Featured Haiku & Poets

From David Thorndale on Instagram at davidthorndale:

a perfect birthday —
the flavor of autumn wind
in a slice of cake

From Zahra Mughis on Twitter at ZahraScribbles & Instagram at instalogbyzahra:

waning moon
a lone kitten counts
the dead oak’s rings

From Mona Bedi:

autumn
the way the leaves
hide our footprints

From Lisbeth Ho on Facebook at Elisabeth Holidaya:

one lonely night
a fisherman in his journey
lost in the deep blue

From huwanahoy on Twitter & Instagram at huwanahoy:

No longer hearing
A single breath or heartbeat
Most hurting silence

From Haiku Nocturnal on Twitter at HaikuNocturnal:

I won’t scatter your
Sorrow to the heartless sea.
Plant your roots in me

From Robert Fael on Twitter at robertfael:

I sat and waited
until a quiet doctor
told me you were gone.

From Charissa Hooyman on Twitter at CharissaHooyman:

Time with grandchildren
Seeing their happy faces
Tears shed as they leave

From Christina Chin at haikuzyg.blogspot.com:

withdrawing
from the body
divine consciousness.

From Mark Hitri on Twitter as HitriMark & on IG at the_cellopoet:

autumn afternoon
not just leaves that fall
a funeral procession

From Linda M. Crate on Twitter at thysilverdoe & on IG at authorlindamcrate:

the leaves falling down
colors are becoming mute
flowers dead in frost.

From Foal Poetry on Instagram at foalpoetry:

“How come?” she whispered
“That’s just how things are.” he said
Tears welled in her eyes

From Melody Wang on Twitter & IG at MelodyOfMusings:

that chapter I closed —
to return to the abyss
is to die again

Stay Connected

Subscribe to the pond’s newsletter for updates about upcoming episodes, themes, and more. Join today at http://haikupond.ck.page.

Follow the podcast on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TheHaikuPond.


Support My Work

Creators like me work hard to create content you love, but in order to continue creating content we need support from followers like you! Buy Me a Coffee to show your support.

By making a contribution, you can support me to make stories that matter and you enjoy and worry less about how I’m going to keep the power on. Contributions can be one-time, monthly, or yearly.

You can support me on my Buy Me a Coffee page, send money directly to me via PayPal, or purchasing me a book from my Amazon Wishlist. I do what I do because I love it, but it’s gratifying beyond measure to receive support from fans. Thanks for your support.


Join the Nanfito Space Newsletter

Nanfito Space is a VIP monthly newsletter sent to my readers and fans. As a subscriber of the Nanfito Space newsletter, you’ll get:

  • Updates on my current works-in-progress
  • Previews of stories and bonus short-stories
  • Links to my latest podcast episodes
  • News about my upcoming book releases

All of this conveniently delivered directly to your inbox.

When you join, I’ll send you a FREE gift: the prequel short story 2051: Initiative. Learn about how the virtual reality in my debut novel, 2149 Emergence, began.

Enter your email address below to receive your gift and future updates.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Published by Anthony

A creative soul expressing himself thru sci-fi stories, haiku, & podcasts. Podcast 🎙 host of Blinded by Science & The Haiku Pond. Visit my website to explore my creations: anthonynanfito.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: