the art of losing

Creativity 101, Main, Uncategorized, Understanding Creativity
One Art
Elizabeth Bishop
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.

This is one of my favorite poems. It’s sad, but also comforting, almost. It’s about how you confront challenges on a daily basis- from small problems like losing your car keys to bigger ones like moving to an unfamiliar place.
The art of losing relates to the process of problem solving in more ways than one. It means you have to be open to possibility, roll with the punches, take life as it comes, and keep coming up with new ways to confront the things we face every day of our lives.
It’s about seeing something that bothers you, and finding a way to solve it when the solution isn’t so obvious. Finding missing car keys? Cake. Finding friends in a completely new city? Not so much. Moving to Mizzou taught me the art of losing- I lost a city, I lost connection with my family and friends, I lost authentic Mexican food. And now I continue to face the art of losing, like many college students, as I confront the vast, unknown slew of potential directions my life could take. We lose opportunities when we choose one. We lose friends when we choose certain paths. We lose concepts of ourselves we thought we had, as we figure out our identities. And all along the way, we find solutions.
As I work with my group in creativity class, I look forward to creating a solution to at least one of the many things about college we could solve- the disconnect from nature, or doing things outside. As we grow increasingly accustomed to being inside and connected with our technology and careers, we lose our connection with nature and the outdoor environment.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master, like one of my favorite poets, Elizabeth Bishop, writes, but hope isn’t lost- humanity is creative, and we’ll figure it out.

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