Losing Your Mind · Spiritual Places · Uncategorized

The Art Of Losing

Acclaimed poet, Elizabeth Bishop, class of 1934
Acclaimed poet, Elizabeth Bishop, class of 1934 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The art of losing isn’t hard to master…  Elizabeth Bishop, from her poem, “One Art.”

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One who is most dear to you. – from Sermons on the Beatitudes, by Gregory of Nyssa, paraphrased by Michael Glerup.

Gregory of Nyssa (fresco in Chora Church)
Gregory of Nyssa (fresco in Chora Church) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blame it on “change of life.”

Blame it on the challenge of balancing several part time jobs and adding yet more important projects.

I have been quite distressed lately by how many things I’ve lost.  The JCPenney receipt?  I returned it to the bag, didn’t I?  Poetry book for my class?  Wasn’t it in my satchel?  A pair of favorite earrings? Found one in a pocket (I never put earrings there) and one in the car.  Huh?  Combined with misplacing class materials that I find later, or forgetting that I had to be somewhere, I am struggling.  I have been so stressed about it the last loss put me in tears.

Bishop says how I can “practice losing farther, losing faster.”  I doubt that’s a goal for anyone.   Not on my bucket list.  Yes, I need to practice losing so I get better at feeling panicked and sad.  Let’s see, what can I lose now?  Let’s get to it.

So, Elizabeth Bishop, even with her wonderful poem, isn’t helping me.  Maybe I should try Gregory of Nyssa.   He offers a different perspective, one that deserves a longer, closer look.  Until next time….

5 thoughts on “The Art Of Losing

  1. Loss is hard and we keep wishing it would get easier, but I’m not sure it ever does. Perhaps it’s part of participating in the sufferings of Christ.

  2. I recently read a novelized version of Christ’s ministry, and in it, the Lord took him Home after he had lost everything… everything. In the novelist’s view, the last thing other than his very life was his relationship with his mother (“Woman, behold your son…”). Loss is hard, but it refines and strengthens us and brings us closer to God. Sometimes, what we need to give up is the attachments to this world. I know I do.

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