Thursday, August 18, 2016

Living with Loss

During childhood we lose our primary teeth and receive rewards from the tooth fairy. Our parents complain of our hearing loss when we make our own choices.  We lose eye lashes and grow new ones along with toenails and fingernails.  The body sheds skin and rebuilds.  

Nature's cycles focus on loss and renewal. Why does loss feel negative rather than natural? What's found as a result?  We find pennies on the street. Sea birds drop feathers for our safekeeping. We misplace keys and jackets, then find them. Our socks get lost in the wash. Some return, some don't. We discover them later hiding in a pillowcase. Reciprocity surrounds us.

Other loses challenge us. We lose athletic events or card games. A pet gets lost and never returns or it dies. We deal with inklings of impermanence when puppy love ends.  

Friends may get lost or don't write and call. Our relationships alter and we reinvent them. Often we think we've lost our minds or marbles but usually it's just a metaphor for human nature.

Parents and family members age and pass away; words that indicate a "floating" to soften the blow. We think about what they've left behind and dwell in memories. People tell us they're sorry for our loss and use more euphemisms. When calamities strike others, we feel grateful for our well being.

At these times of frustration, it helps to become lost in writing or reading. Pushing the keys or pen helps us lose our fears or shunt them away for a while.  

Our imaginations permit us to let loose and re-arrange words to bring up a better way to think about lost - Turn it into lots.  Re-arranged letters of lose create sole. Our soul requires nurture.

How do we move into those areas of wildness and live at the edges of the mysterious? How do we extend the boundaries of the self? Creativity and the resulting writing require the permission to be lost. 

In A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit writes, "One does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography." She continues, "That thing the nature of which is totally unknown is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost." 

If we let our inner rhythm take over and feel the flow of nature's way, we will sustain ourselves and discover survival skills to turn loss into the next stage for renewal. We need to collect coins and bird feathers.  

Mysteries appear when we happen upon a single shoe.  Did these soles find a connection?

Ponder the many meanings of loss in your life.  

Do a freewrite and see where the word takes you.

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