The Art of losing. Is loss an art? Is it possible to learn how to lose? As we grow older, our hearts harden. Call it wisdom, call it cruelty, call it age, whatever you call it, it feels inevitable that as we become accustomed to loss, we learn to navigate the world under the premise that all is eventually lost. Perhaps I am a pessimist. Perhaps I was born an optimist, and learned to master pessimism. I am not sure. All I know is that this human condition still confuses me.
Last night, I watched a film called ‘Reaching for the Moon.’ It tells the story of the poet Elizabeth Bishop. Bishop has always been a bit vague in terms of her sexuality, her love affairs, etc. But this film was very well-written, beautifully performed, and the portrayal of Bishop’s complex love affair is presented as having colored her writing. I was extremely touched by the performance, especially the recital of her poem ‘One Art.’ I won’t summarize the plot of the film, but I will insist that it is intense. Below is the poem, but it must be read out loud or listened to, to do it justice: