Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Art of Losing

A few days ago, I locked myself out of my house. My first thought besides, you dumbass, was the beautiful Raymond Carver poem, "Locking . . . " an ode to all that he had destroyed and left behind, all that was lost to him behind the glass that he could see, but not return to unless he was willing to wreak havoc on the window that would let him back inside. My second thought was that I might die of exposure because this is Detroit and the D is not the tropics, even with global warming. I tried to break into my house and was both relieved and dismayed to find that I couldn't. I called a friend with a key and twenty minutes later, time I'd like to say I spent in relaxed meditation, but in fact, spent cursing into my scarf, I was back inside. While I sat in the cold, I thought about all the careless things I have done in my life -- I've lost keys, phones, and even managed to throw away a debit card. I looked over at my neighbor's yard from my window and said hello to their beautiful Virgin Mary and St. Francis statues and then saw the vile plaque with a picture of Kokopelli on it. Kokopelli is a southwestern symbol for mischief. Friends, I blame him for my mishap with the keys. I have always hated him, his evil little back hunched over playing the flute. You are an asshole, I said, not quite aware that I was addressing something in which I don't even believe.

My friend arrived; I did not die. I went inside and sat next to my space heater until I worked myself out of my bitter little snit. I could still see Kokpelli from my window! Hateful! I thought about what I might have done had my friend not had the key -- could I have bashed the window and stepped back inside? My tolerance for frustration is low so I wouldn't have been surprised. As it was, I stepped in the door like I owned the place. Of course, my friend only had the key to the back door. You get in, I suppose, any way you can.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"The art of losing isn't hard to master." Elizabeth Bishop

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: The Tao of Steve

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Saturday!

65 days until The Sopranos airs!


Andrew Warhola said...

Scrumptious photo, Michelle. Never get enough of those.

Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero said...

I can hardly wait for the Sopranos. You're making me SO hot for it, Michelle.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

I memorized and recited Elizabeth Bishop's poem "The Fish" for my speech class and I didn't make any mistakes. It was a flawless presentation. But all my teacher could do was carp about it, if you know what I mean. I don't get no respect.

Aretha Franklin said...

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!

Wichita-Lineman said...

I like this post quite a bit, and I think it is something we can all relate too. The carver comparison is great. Everyday we can wreak havoc on just about any window we choose, it's the ability to hold back the urge that makes us sane.

The Toa of Steve, haven't even thought about that one in some time, good pick. You got to love a movie about a substitute kindergarten teacher who gets high before work. I love the part where he�s drawing with the kids during art class and get all mesmerized with the glitter.

Anonymous said...


In That photo I could not get over how straight your teeth are. Especially in THAT photo. While I was staring I also noticed what a beautiful mind you have.

the walking man said...

Losing keys in the cold YOU ASKED FOR seems to me to be a mischevious thing that Kokopelli may have done. Yet there is more to this ancient ones myth than you relate, he is suposed to be a harbinger of spring and when you hear his flute on the breeze you know that the seasone will change that the harvest will be good because his back is hunched from the seed he carries for the crop and that when he appears there is great fertility in the women of the tribe.

Ah but you were angry at a stone and pleased by two other stones in your twenty minute wait, yet spent your time cursing the darkness and thinking of things you have lost.

Everything I used to have but don't have anymore is never counted as a loss but raher things I had no need for so there is no sense in trying to smash the window of the past to try to regain what you no longer have.

You didn't lose your keys you just locked them inside, you dumbass, but maybe your friend with the key needed a break from what they had been doing to come and let you in and spend a moment to see to your need.

How is that frustrating thing, besides yesterday was a balmy Michigan February, at my reading last night (and you know how much I smoke) I was outside in my vest, T shirt, and ball cap looking at what few stars I could see.

Orions belt, I watch it because it tells me of the seasons change, I know what position it was in, in the sky the night my son was born on Dec 11 and now it is moved almost fifty degrees across the sky. I wasn't cold, I was warmed by the thought of my son's birth.
I know that soon I will have lost another winter and soon it will be spring.

My suggestion is you get a big 6 inch ring pierced through one of the cheeks of your ass and when you have something you are afraid of losing you put it on that ring, then it will always be at the ready but you may find that to be more of a pain in the ass than losing things that are always replaceable or situations that are frustrating but solveable.



Paul said...


JR's Thumbprints said...

We've certainly hit a cold spell in Detroit, but according to the ground hog, spring is just around the corner.

George Costanza said...

Go Bears! Beat Manning! He stinks! He can't act! His commercials stink! I can act! He can't! Beat the Bears!

Kramer said...

Go Bears! Manning is a stupid n*****! No! I didn't mean that!