Friday, August 12, 2016

It's Your Loss

The younger we are, the more inconsolable we are in the face of loss, squirreling away significant losses, compartmentalizing them, hopeful of forgetting them, but in reality burying them in the midst of new targets of acquisitions. 


We go forth from such times of loss, triumphant in our belief that new acquisitions will bury old losses. But then we reach the point where loss confronts us, daring us to cope with it, understand it, come to terms with it.

This is about the time when we recognize we are at mid-game, the point where we have lost as much or possibly more than we have gained; we are operating at a deficit of possessions, whether those are teeth, hair, ability to see and thus hit a curve ball, ambition, imagination.

Among the things you've lost:

A Buck pocket knife with wooden inlay handle

A red child's ball with a row of white Scottie dogs

A plastic, bugle-shaped toy instrument, used to perform in recitals designed to irk your sister

A splendid yellow Stipula Castoni fountain pen

A Duncan super yo-you, white with blue stipple

A lower molar

Hair

A copy of a book with an autographed front cover of the book as designed by the artist, Sam Francis

Two stunning human friends

An edgy blue tick hound named Edward

A cat who gave up his original owner to come take his chances with you

A draft of a story about prehistoric humans you've been trying to replicate for twenty years

An orange-and-blue shirt that disappeared after one wearing

An autographed copy of a work of nonfiction, written by a friend

There are, to be sure, other things which will clamor for attention once you pursue the path of writing about lost things. But doing so will remind you as well of time you have lost due to procrastination, toward what you will call casual and deliberate engagement, and growth that was either hoped for or unanticipated, reminders that time is a measurement, not an agenda or a sentient thing,rather a means of perspective.

In the process, you have and will continue to gain perspective. a driver in metaphor, who sees his youth in the rear view mirror, and is aware of things found along the way toward a final destination that outweigh the things lost in the tangible things they've provided.

There is no guarantee that loss and gain balance out in your life or those of others. But there is opportunity, in its way every bit as impersonal as time, yet relevant to the human condition. There is no guarantee, either for life or story to arrive at one or more successful destinations, but there is awareness that each, life and story, are potentials for starting points, losses, some measure of accommodation, and some manner of closure.

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