Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Knot

I know how to tie a bowline knot.
So does the father who didn't raise me.
But because he didn't teach me I tie mine upside down.
Or he does.

I only know we approach from opposite directions
And end up with the same knot.

I often wonder,
Have I lived an entirely different life
Or the exact same life
Upside down?

Credit: woodleywonderworks

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Art of Finding

The mother who raised me taught me to shop for bargains the way our distant ancestors taught their daughters to search for the best nuts and berries.

She also taught me to gather sea glass.

Years later, when I met the mother who didn't raise, she too was a bargain gatherer. I watched her move along the racks of the thrift stores rubbing fabric between her practiced fingers, a habit learned from her mother and grandmother, reflective of the family's history in the fabric industry. My first mother shops by touch.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Art of Losing

"The art of losing isn’t hard to master." So wrote the poet Elizabeth Bishop in her poem "One Art."

I have been practicing the art of losing since the day I was born. I lost my first mother on that day and would not find her again for almost thirty years. As an adoptee, my birth loss was particularly acute, but all of us, truly, enter the world in a moment of loss. The womb is our first lost home. We can never return.

After that, a million other losses, all leading toward the day we leave behind what remains. If there is one thing we are here on this earth to do, it is to practice the art of losing.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The Buddhist path of non-attachment? 

Can I claim to be a master?
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