Saturday, October 27, 2007

Re-reading "On Losing a House" by Mary Oliver

I lost it.

Like someone tired from searching for a misplaced photograph or an early journal, I am testing out the words – “I lost it.”

With my previous blog I had a way that I was taking photographs of my life with Marc. I had a way that I was keeping a journal of my days. And I lost it.

For a week the situation felt like finding out that someone had been using information from bank cards I didn’t realize were no longer safe in my wallet. The only thing was to cancel the cards and start fresh.

What I didn’t realize was how long someone had been intent on taking what I wrote and using it to undermine, to hurt, to trap.

I don’t know when the loss will settle into the final contours that narration and memory can give it. I frankly don’t know if this is too early to write about it. I do know that sentences have been forming in my mind this past week. I think I know how to plot it, how to pace it – a first record of this loss. I think I hear familiar rhythms as the paragraphs unfold.

I have salvaged what I could. What got lost is a particular place for reflection that people got used to visiting. What got lost is a particular place where I could re-read what I had written months earlier and relive the feel of those days.

Yesterday I re-read Mary Oliver’s poem “On Losing a House.” It helped me realize that what got lost is a home.

Goodbye, house.
Goodbye, sweet and beautiful house,
we shouted, and it shouted back,
goodbye to you, and lifted itself
down from the town, and set off
like a packet of clouds across
the harbor's blue ring.
the tossing bell, the sandy point -- and turned
lightly, wordlessly,
into the keep of the wind
where it floats still --
where it plunges and rises still
on the black and dreamy sea.


Anonymous said...

this is very nice!

thanks for inviting me to your new space- i know what you mean about the feeling of losing a home

it's strange how dear a place that doesn't exist except in our hearts and minds can become, how real and necessary it is, and how we mourn it when it's gone as much as anything that we may lose that we once were able to touch and that touched us


John said...

Thank you, rb, for understanding, for visiting, for reading, for commenting. It is important to give oneself permission to mourn whenever a loss touches something our heart and mind valued and even cherished.

Julie Kertesz - me - moi - jk said...

You lost, I do not really understand what, but more important, you did not loose, yourself.

Again, thanks for making me sign this morning, who knows, perhaps you dreamed or sensed I woke up at middle of night or at least early morning at three and could not sleep and been tormented, - until I found you, an old friend, an old voice, from afar times that come to me this morning with the same warmth as "jadis".

Thamk you for making my morning - the sun is rising early today - at four thirty already begun - "serene"