One Hand Clapping

A Daily Journal in Two Volumes: March 17, 2003 – March 15, 2005
by William Michaelian

When I started One Hand Clapping, I knew next to nothing about Zen, or koans, the philosophical riddles associated with that branch of thought. That hasn’t changed much, and in my own Zen-like way, I am not worried about it. I chose the name because I liked the sound of the sound of one hand clapping. In the introduction at the top of each journal page, I refer to the sound as being thunderous. The statement made sense to me at the time, and still does. Whether or not I succeeded in capturing the sound of one hand clapping in the journal itself is for the reader to decide.

Another thing I didn’t know back in March 2003 was how long I would continue with this journal. It wasn’t something I thought seriously about until almost a year later. But when March 16, 2004, rolled around and I plunged headlong into a second volume, I knew I would write for at least one more year, making One Hand Clapping nothing less than a two-year, 730-day project.

Now, after laughing and howling like a madman for nearly a quarter of a million words, I have decided that two years of daily writing without rest no matter what happens will be enough, and that at the end of that time, unless I die sooner, I will move on to something else — not that there hasn’t been “something else” all along, because I have done quite a bit of other writing as well. In this case, by “something else” I mean “another foolish project that will either kill me or make me wish I were dead.” I have a knack for coming up with such projects. Some might call it a disease.

To those readers who have been with me from the beginning, I can’t thank you enough for keeping up your end of the bargain. To those who joined in along the way and have been caught up in my attempt to reason with an unreasonable universe, I also offer my humble thanks. To those who have just found this strange literary message in a bottle, I bid welcome. Always, welcome.

The current phase of the war that began when this journal began is not over. Thousands of lives have been lost or otherwise destroyed in Iraq these past two years, and dozens of bloody lies have been told in order to justify it or make it seem as if something grand and wonderful were happening. This kind of behavior is enough to make a grown man or woman weep — or start another journal. If you decide to do the latter, let me know. This time, I’ll be one of your faithful readers.

Note: Each month of One Hand Clapping has been assigned its own page. Links are provided here, and again on each journal page. To go to the beginning of Volume 2, click here.

March 2003      April 2003      May 2003      June 2003      July 2003      August 2003      September 2003

October 2003      November 2003      December 2003      January 2004      February 2004      March 2004

April 2004      May 2004      June 2004      July 2004      August 2004      September 2004

October 2004      November 2004      December 2004      January 2005      February 2005      March 2005
One Hand Clapping
Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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