nov 1/RUN

3.1 miles
turkey hollow
67 degrees

A memory: wild turkeys near Beckettwood. One, flapping its wings as it moved away from me.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master

On Sunday, November 6th, Scott accidentally deleted everything I had written for the past six days. I lost this entry. I don’t want to try to remember everything/anything that happened on that day, but I do want to document the basic details of the run and to have it marked on my calendar so that later, when I glance at it, I can see when I worked out that month.

I didn’t just lose this entry, I lost all the entries for this week. I lost 2 new pages I created for my big (as in, spanning decades) project, How to Be. One called, “How to be…a Bell.” The other, “How to be…Enough.” I lost the various edits I did to my writing portfolio site, announcing the publishing of 2 of my mood ring poems at The Account. I lost the poem links I added to my “poems gathered” section. I lost an “On this Day” page I created for all the entries, from 2017-2021, that I posted on November 4th. And I lost little bits — quotations, interviews, video clips — that I posted on various pages on Undisciplined. At least, that’s what I remember losing.

It happened on Sunday morning around 9. I was sitting upstairs reading something. I heard Scott sigh loudly. Uh oh. What’s wrong, I asked. I think he might have started with, I have some bad news or I’m sorry, but…. Scott is like his dad when he tells a story. He likes to give a lengthy, dramatic explanation before getting to the point. As he rambled on with details, I tried to guess what the conclusion would be. I am like my mom when I hear a story; I worry and jump to conclusions and don’t care about the details. I want the ending first, then I can listen to the excrutiating minutia of what happened. As he talked, I thought he was going to tell me that he had deleted all of the customizations I had made to my wordpress themes for my 3 main sites. When he said that he had lost anything I had written/posted in the last six days, I was relieved. At least I don’t have to redo the themes, and try to remember all the css that Ive forgotten because I only use it every couple of years when I redesign my sites! But slowly it hit me. How much I had written this week. A lot. More than most weeks.

I’m a little sad about the words I’ve lost, but not angry. I’ll remember them, or I won’t. Maybe I’ll even remember better versions of them.

One Art/ Elizabeth Bishop (audio version)

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.

I knew I knew, somewhere in the dim caverns of my mind, what form Bishop’s poem is in, but I forgot and had to look it up: a villanelle. Of course! I tried writing a few of these way back in year 2. I searched in my archive and found the entry, jan 18, 2018. Here’s what I wrote:

Yesterday, I experimented with the villanelle form and wrote a poem about running around the track. Here’s the form of a villanelle:

19 lines; 5 tercets + 1 quatrain; 1st and 3rd line of beginning tercet are alternately repeated in third line of remaining tercets, then last two lines of quatrain; rhyme scheme = aba/aba/aba/aba/aba/abaa


A run around the track isn’t hard to do
with its road that never runs out
An endless loop, run until you’re through

Warm and dry with a clear avenue
no cars to avoid, no need to shout
A run around the track isn’t hard to do

A little tedious, a lack of view
but a chance to fly fast, to go all out
on this endless loop, run until you’re through

Your brain can go blank, your thoughts can be few
mechanically moving without doubt
A run around the track isn’t hard to do

It can be monotonous, that’s true
encountering the same people on this repetitive route
of endless loops, run until you’re through

So little to look at, so little to do
but keep track of the laps, not losing count
A run around the track isn’t hard to do
but it’s a boring, endless loop, run until you’re through

Wow. This is definitely a poems that’s about trying out a form. Should I try again? Maybe this month…

A poem I posted in one of the lost entries:

Wild Turkey/ Heid E. Erdrich

Not the bottle
Not the burn on the lips
lit throat glow
Not even wild     really
but a small-town bird
whose burgundy throat
shimmers like nothing ever
A huge bird    impressive
who lurches and stalks me
window to window in this
desert retreat
What does he want?
Clearly he is lonely
pecks his reflection
and speaks to it in a low gubble
(not gobble) gubbles so tenderly
Soon as I think of him     his eye hits on me
We have watched each other for days
His shifting colors fascinate me  his territorial strut
But it is his bald and blue-red head
his old man habits and gait that move me
If I even think of him        I taste whiskey
Drunk on solitude    I’d talk to anybody
I try his language on my lips
His keen response burns     like shame