The Art of Losing

Watch Loah reading One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop: ‘The art of losing isn’t hard to master’
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Audrey has a lot of gaps in her memory, including no idea what happened the night of the party. She has minimal interaction with Mike post-accident, including a visit to him at rehab while he is supposedly making amends. Thank goodness Harley cuts her ties with him and works through her own stuff in the company of Raf. They both start to understand more about themselves, like Raf likes to avoid reality and Harley is used to stuffing away her feelings. They both have a lot of insecurities as does Mike and Harley has trust issues.

But she asks to see a therapist to start to work through everything, with the goal of learning how to stand up for herself and say what she actually feels. Together with Raf she learns that both recovery and just overcoming things in general is not an uninterrupted straight line. Life is complicated and messy, but both Raf and Harley are coming to understand that they can change the narrative and move forward, learning from their past and experiences but also not letting them define them.

The art of losing

I burned through this book because Mason presents engaging characters who go through real journeys in the course of the story. There is much to relate to here, including working through problems, redefining yourself, taking accountability, and learning forgiveness.

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By Jessica Greenbaum. Is there any blank space left for a new poem, old subjects?

Show More. More Poems by Elizabeth Bishop. The Mountain. See All Poems by this Author. See a problem on this page? More About This Poem. One Art By Elizabeth Bishop. When I was little and just starting to write poems and take pictures myself, my mother used to say that I was just like my grandfather. It made me feel very proud whenever she said this, and she said it often, as though to make sure I would remember.

I had only met my grandfather that one time when I was three, but I felt some kind of transmission had occurred. Her bones were the seal to the mandate. What grew from this was a documentary film called Halving the Bones.

More by Elizabeth Bishop

I tell some of the stories. My mother tells others.

The ghost of my grandmother tells still more. She laughs at the Tupperware story and professes her fondness and admiration for the tea can. She opens it and inspects every bone, peering at each one, exclaiming over the beauty of their shapes, their surprising hues and shades of color. She whispers to the bones, as if to her mother. Making the film with my mother, engaging in this creative and collaborative storytelling project, helped us to reconnect. It gave us the excuse to spend time together, and get to know each other again, and learn to talk about the important matters of life and death.

We make things because we lose things: memories, people we love, and ultimately our very selves. Our acts of creation are ways of grappling with death: we imagine it, struggle to make sense of it, forestall or defeat it. These media are, quite literally, mediums, the means of traveling to the other shore. They are our imaginative transport to the land of the dead. We learn things there, and then return what we learn to the living. This journey is undertaken by anyone who has ever told stories, from Homer, to Dante, to Elizabeth Bishop.

To tell stories is to practice of the art of losing. As Bishop says, it is one art. But to my surprise, in she packed a tiny suitcase with a toothbrush, two bathing suits, and a pair of pajamas, and declared herself ready to come home with me and my husband to a remote island in British Columbia. She lived there with us in a little house just down the road from ours, pretty much until she died in November of I wrote a lot during that time, which was part of my practice. These are some entries from my blog.

You have to come all the way down here every time you want to do your laundry. She has enough on her mind without worrying about our laundry. They have angels there who do all the laundry. What kind of tree is that? A lot has happened. My mother turned ninety last month and we had a little birthday party for her. She shook her head.

The lost art of losing

She looked at me, patiently. The other day you asked me to write something for the Hospice Project grief workshop that you will be leading. So here goes. My mom died one month ago today. Her death should have come as no surprise, but of course when she died in my arms, I was astonished. How can this life, which has persisted here on this earth for over ninety years, be over?

The art of losing - The Stanford Daily

Just like that? This strange new state of mom-less-ness is inconceivable to me. When I go to the grocery store, I find myself searching for things that are soft and sweet she loved chocolate and she had no teeth , or beautiful bright things she loved flowers, but her sight was failing. For the first couple of weeks, I just stood in the ice cream aisle, stunned and weeping. When I think about her death from her perspective, mostly I just feel relief. She was beginning to suffer a lot of pain and confusion, and I believe she was ready to go.

But when I think about it from my point of view, it breaks my heart. All I know is that I miss her like crazy. I miss her thin little fingers. I miss holding her hand.

Dividing the Bones

I miss twirling her wedding ring around so the tiny chip of a diamond sits back on top. I took over caring for her, and slowly she became dependent on me. In the end, I was feeding her and changing her, and she was calling me mom. It would only confuse and upset her to see me cry.

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Then a few months ago, I had to take a trip and leave her for a couple of weeks. I went to tell her, knowing that she might die while I was gone, and as I sat on the bed next to her, the tears just came and there was no stopping them.

"One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop (recited by Miranda Otto)

I tried not to let her see, but of course she noticed. And it worked, and I felt better, and when I left, we were both laughing.