June 1st

Yes, it is June 1st and I’m wearing a wool sweater. The past two days we were visited by a freakish cold snap and the temperature plummeted. The wind was trying to get in my snug bedroom last night as I listened to what surely was ice tapping against the glass. So all of the blankets I’d folded and put away came back out for another sleep over.
They definitely have a replacement for me in the Fall and she will be fortunate to be here for a year. It seems that my complaints to Tallahassee combined with my director’s requesting a more permanent librarian came to fruition. Hearing that news nudged me back to the reality of my leaving in nine weeks. So I am brushing up the resume, looking for jobs, combing through the LIS job lists — a process that leaves me with a quivering inner being. Does anyone enjoy selling themselves on paper? If so, please help.
But between the weather, the dread of job searching, my leaving and arrival, I have Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art running through my head. It’s one of my all time favorites, and so clearly depicts how I feel about coming, leaving and going. (Well, that and I lost a friend along the way.)

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.

7 responses to “June 1st

  1. Funny … I was just quoting this yesterday in class … how interesting that we’d be on the same page on the same-ish day ….

  2. one of my favorites as well…thanks for reminding me of it

  3. Ah a villanelle (almost) reminds me of Malamud and a challenge no resisted. I have always loved the parenthetical (Write it!) command. Makes me happy.

    I think I’d prefer selling myself on a street corner to the printed page. A much more honest process.

  4. Shelby —Only honest from the perspective of the person selling đŸ™‚ Never the person buying. But you know I almost agree except where poetry is concerned. No one edits a poet, they just refuse to publish them.
    Will — it is always interesting, the random clash of “coincidence”
    Miche — you are welcome. Everyone needs a poetry break sometimes.

  5. Having gone through some career related transitions myself recently……losing something often presents you with the opportunity to notice something new that you didn’t see before . …especially if you have people you love that help you look….

    Soon we shall drink wine together and toast your future!


  6. Please, let it be the brunello. Thanks Shane, as always, you put it in a positive perspective.

  7. You should never have a quivering inner self. I noticed you put “alienation” as one of your topics. Please don’t feel alienated! There is only an ocean between you and the people that love you. Your future is brighter and more hopeful and exciting than you can imagine. So be cheery tomorrow and know that many hugs, wine, new stories to tell, hear, await you. (Write!). Enjoyed the poem!

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