Turn to Your Left at the End of the Sky

Delayed Gratification

Last night I watched one of those movies (“In Her Shoes“) that is thoroughly enjoyable while you’re watching it but you know you won’t remember it in a few months time and it will have very little impact shaping your life. Afterwards I was inwardly cursing the waste of time when a thought occurred to me: How long am I going to defer gratification until some later time in my life when I will conclude that I have earned it? And do we sometimes delay gratification because we’re not even sure exactly what it is that we enjoy doing? Because we’ve never allowed ourselves to slow down enough to explore all the fun in the world? And then before we know it, we lose the ones we love.

One Art – Elizabeth Bishop

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.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

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.

 

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August 18, 2006 - Posted by | Poetry, Thoughts

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