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"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.
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
- Elizabeth Bishop

[I came across this poem in the book 'In her Shoes', on which the movie was made. Rather nice in its own pop way.]

Life is like, like a cupboard, a box, a storage space. There is only so much that can be stored in it at one point of time. And then, whats on top gets shuffled more than whats at the bottom.
It is always as organized as you want it to be, as the amount of time you spend on it.

Lifes like that. Confused, disorderly, limited capacity. Till you prune the edges, take care, organise, shuffle and care for it.

For every new item put in, there is an occupied storage space. If the place is already full, if theres a lot happening, there is always the need to discard something.

And nothing is hard to lose. It only seems like that. You lose something because - because it was your favorite, you used it too much. or because you never liked it anyway. It is not a loss in both cases.

To go to the bottom of the heap and remove the unecessary is what takes a lot to master.
Once removed, there is no return. Like the burnt letter and the deleted mail. But unlike these physical objects, life is like a cycle, ever evolving. Activities now removed, freinds now forgotten always come back. If they mean something that is.

A spring cleaning is always required. If not done, it can drive you mad. Spillage is not possible, for there is nowhere for it to spill to. Activities cram up, people crowd in. That is when the art of losing comes up - the art to know what to lose.

Losing is distasteful. You never want to leave the old and move to the new. You always want to keep the old and take on the new. the old is so because you spent time, energy, effort and all said and done, your portion of life on it. It is a living proof of what you have done, are, and was. But, it has to be lost. It may seem horrible. But thats the beauty.

The Buddhist monks of Tawang (AP, India) are known for the beautiful coloured rangoli they make with coloured powder using air pipes....intricate designs made over months, sometimes more than a year. Yet, the moment the design is finished, they blow it away, into the wind.
They say, to keep it would be to cling on to the past, to have ties, to not want to start something new.
it is only when they destroy it can they move on to making something even more beautiful than the previous one.
They have mastered the art of losing.

We all have done it in small ways, in big ways. We lost (If I may use that term) minutes as we grew older, our teachers as we changed classes, our freinds as we moved schools and subjects, our relatives as they grew older, our innocence as we learnt more, and so on.

But what we didnt lose, was our memory. It only grew. It may not be at the top of mind recall. But it is still there.
Right from that best freind of primary to the close freind of college. Associated with mental snapshots and smells, feelings and emotions. Our memories always last.

We lose only the physical thing, but never lose the essence. Life may be choc-a-bloc, but the learnings are in a bottomless well of memory.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
28th Jul, 2006 10:04 (UTC)
That's a good one!
JM.. that's again a well written piece.
Liked the concept of "art of losing - knowing what to lose". I mean we keep doing it all the time, but I had never put it into words.
Did we have a discussion on this sometime? I don't think so..
Also liked "mental snapshots and smells, feelings and emotions". Soemhow reminded me of the TT basement instantly!!

Well.... wanted to watch "In her shoes" with u.. remember watching the posters at FR? Hope to bring a CD someday.

28th Jul, 2006 10:27 (UTC)
Re: That's a good one!
:) Thanks. I thouhgt ull also like the concept of storage space and cupboard :D yeah..knowing what to lose is so important...it may take a life time to master it.
29th Jul, 2006 04:03 (UTC)
That's a good one
Makes one wonder!! Can we really lose something in our mind? I mean even to forget you must know what to forget and in doing so you must remember it first!! Am I making sense??? May not not if you read through it the first time!!!
29th Jul, 2006 04:05 (UTC)
Re: That's a good one
Yes, you are making sense. We may think there are patches in our life that we have lost. Say, what did I do from age 7 to age 7.5? I know that patch is missing, and I have forgotten it. However, I am sure there is some part of memory which still saves that information. It is just a question of not remembering at the specified time.
Unless you have alzheimers/ ur nerve cells get destroyed.
31st Jul, 2006 11:32 (UTC)
nice one
hey D! nice one! Remember our talks with example of life like a food plate...and the latest one about loosing - sms inbox!! The moment you press delete all, well its the same like what buddhist monks of Tawang do after they finish the rangoli. ..:) The answer my frnd..is blowing in the wind... :)

- Deeee
31st Jul, 2006 11:36 (UTC)
Re: nice one
gee thanks :)
Its wierd how physical manifestations have such an impact on mental health :)
occured to me about the food plate and sms-es later after i posted the post. sms more valid here, than the food plate concept ;)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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Regurgitations of my mind. Specific, Vague, Memorable, Forgettable, Thoughtless, In-depth.

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