Well the top news is the warm sun has a chilled breeze these mornings and the sprites and delights are back at school. Everyone’s summers were something, busy or quiet, no one’s summer was exactly like anyone else’s. Presumably as long as you noticed some of yours it was as much of hot days as was needful. Here's us fishing in Prospect Park.
We talked about Bishop’s “One Art” in class last week, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master” how she smiles and smiles and lies. The art of losing is doable, but it doesn’t even know the word master. Everyone is an ever apprentice to it.
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,
The garden was let get overgrown this summer. About a year and a half ago we got a puppy and she ripped up the grass with her running and digging. It got so bad there was no grass left and groundcover came in that looked pretty and we left it at that.
Go know groundcover will turn into bushes if allowed - take over the whole place. Too hot out and too distracted with kids and books to get out there and keep things in check so now it’s a bit of a job. Maybe that’s a lie about the kids and books, there was just time with weeding out of mind.
People let things get overgrown, I know, it’s not just us. Nature takes your papers and gets lush. Silverware drawer thins, sink goes much with ceramic and steel, gets lush. I tell myself to hush.
I’ve been writing my book and just handed it in for review. It’s smaller than it is large and has a thing to say that, I’d say, got said. Writing it is what kept me --I think-- from writing to you, though as we all know who’ve tried it, feeling up to writing live is not always what it’s been, it goes lush and thin. But it is true that with a book to write that’s what I wrote.
The book really wants to make a few claims about one point. The title is Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. The thing is that suicide gets lumped in with other progressive issues, rights to make all sorts of personal choices, but I think this one is special and needs to be looked at on its own. I’ve found some historical precedent for saying it is wrong, and for some good reasons.
Bishop’s poem starts out thin and gets lush losing first only little things like keys and later losing whole continents and worse, the imagined loss of the beloved.
Now we’ve got two huge piles of weeds pulled up or clippered off. Branches of good things gone too far as well. But at least there’s a little air where the air should be.
What we need is a little air. Bishop’s poem, like most great art, thickens up and then pulls its own weeds.
I lost two cities, lovely
ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
- Even losing you (the joking
voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Write it! Like disaster. After a whole poem of writing it out of disaster. Well, I won’t speak to real heartache loss this afternoon – given the date it would be too much to do-- but will hew to the side of the loss of a season, the welcome loss of overgrown brush, the sweet yet pangful finish of a project. Each lets in a little air, the sudden room for something else. Even just a breath.
I hope you’ve been well. Don’t kill yourself and I shall return to encourage you again.