Friday, August 21, 2009

One Art, Redux

I have 15 minutes to write one quick post before we head off on vacation one last time before the End of Summer. We've been frantically packing, washing, laundry-ing, and knocking stuff off our lists and now have to run out the door to pick up MG at camp and then hit the road!

I have been LOSING stuff all day-- or rather-discovering that stuff cannot be found. Most notably a Special Present that we secretly bought for MG and I then put in a Special Place, where it is not any more and neither of us knows where it is. I've been grieving over this all day.

I have to wonder about lost stuff-- I don't think it's just a function of our overstuffed lives and our overstuffed memories that we're constantly misplacing things. Surely this has been happening for centuries? I mean that Elizabeth Bishop poem, One Art-- one of my very favorite poems in the world-- was written several decades ago, and though it ends with an emotional one-two punch that hits hard, I can't help but think that part of her inspiration must have been that she was constantly losing actual, non-metaphorical stuff and it was driving her crazy.

And there's a notable incident in part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder story-- not the Little House books, but some later chronicle, when she's grown up and she and Rose are moving, maybe to Missouri, and she puts a $100 bill somewhere secret and then she and Rose look for it and it is just missing!

And Holden Caulfield leaving the fencing equipment on the subway...

I guess people have been losing stuff throughout history. And misplacing things. Especially when they're packing to travel. It makes you wonder about nomadic cultures. My sister-in-law and I had a fun time the other day when she was visiting, imagining the bickering between prehistoric couples: "Where's the pointy rock? The good one?" "I thought you brought it!" "No, I couldn't find it. You're always going on about how great it is for skinning and all, so I thought YOU already had it." "Why would I take it? Bringing the rocks is YOUR department! I have enough to do getting all the food together, not to mention the kids!"

Well. At least I can take some comfort in imagining that I'm part of a millenia-old tradition.

See you in September!

4 Comments:

Blogger liz said...

Laura Ingalls's $100 had slipped under the lining of her lap desk.

The special present that you bought for MG is...already in the camper because you realized that she might find it in the other special place or that you would forget to bring it.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous badgermama said...

Are you back yet!? I miss you!

11:29 PM  
Blogger JanuskieZ said...

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11:00 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

hmm, well, if I wrote in it more, that would be a start!

8:55 AM  

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