A collaborative, abstract expression of resilience.

One traditional form of Japanese haiku poetry consists of 17 syllables composed on one line and meant to be spoken in a single breath. Haiku are historically attributed to the Japanese masters beginning with Basho (1644-1694). The following haiku, westernized versions of the form, are arranged in three lines in a 5-7-5 syllabic format.

As you take in the following images and their corresponding haiku, we invite you to contemplate the idea of resilience. The concept was born of the theme for our 2022 TEDxBigSky event, held at the end of January. For this project, we asked eight artists and photographers to submit artwork that reflects their idea of resilience. Research scientist-turned-poet Tom Levar then composed original haiku for each of the works. They are purely his interpretations of these works of art. We invite you to sit with and absorb the following images and haiku. – The Editors

Tom Levar submitted the following introduction to this Outbound Gallery:

The invitation to participate in this resilience project is an honor to me and awakens creativity, like an unfolding bud. These images encourage us to take “a long, loving look,” as theologian Walter Burghardt wrote. My hope is that the haiku here offer a gentle and simple interpretation of these images. Nature is the great teacher as we live with, care for and learn from it. May these images heighten our awareness, fill us with wonder and evoke gratitude. – Tom Levar

Tom Levar is a retired University of Minnesota research scientist who returned to his birthplace near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with his wife and their dog. His career spanned four decades of natural resource management. His scientific background and the serenity of their new home inspire him to write haiku daily.