Monday, January 05, 2015

Art of Losing

I had a strange dream last night. I was talking to someone and could not hear myself saying the words I thought I was saying. It seemed like it was important to me that they heard and understood but they were staring at me in blank incomprehension. I struggled harder and harder to "say" and not just "think" the words but to no avail. The room was silent. The listener and I were silent too.  It was such a vivid dream that when I woke up I thought I had actually lost my voice. I called out to J to make sure I could still speak. 

In One Art, Elizabeth Bishop talks of  the Art of Losing and how it is not hard to master. I don't know what draws me to this poem - maybe it is the gallows humor that in some moods I can relate to particularly well

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

It was amusing to consider if my voice was one of those things that "seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster"

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