Nobody Loses All The Time

I thought last month when the water pipe burst in the wall of my best friend’s apartment, soaking much of the  the flooring, that she was one of the most unlucky persons I knew. The burst pipe was one in a long string of unfortunate events in her life.  Her issues pale in comparison with another friend of mine who, since Easter,  was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had surgery that permanently damaged her vocal cords,  and then got the terrible news that her only son, who she had placed for adoption forty years ago and reconnected with last year, had died of the Covid-19 virus.  She writes that her life has turned out like a country western song full of bad luck and disaster.  She has supportive family and friends, but how on earth do you get beyond these sorts of tragedies?

I don’t know why but  I couldn’t help thinking about e e cummings poem, nobody loses all the time after hearing about my friends’ terrible luck.

It isn’t exactly a comforting poem, and I suppose it cold be construed as pretty irreverent, but I think it sums up a need to find hope in the darkest of times.

What gives you hope?  Share some hopeful poetry. 


35 thoughts on “Nobody Loses All The Time”

  1. I have been one of the committee to put together our UU online “Sunday Service” over these past weeks, and a lot of pretty neat poems have shown up there. Here is one:

    Keeping Quiet
    Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Silence

    Now we will count to twelve
    and we will all keep still.

    For once on the face of the earth,
    let’s not speak in any language;
    let’s stop for one second,
    and not move our arms so much.

    It would be an exotic moment
    without rush, without engines;
    we would all be together
    in a sudden strangeness.

    Fisherman in the cold sea
    would not harm whales
    and the man gathering salt
    would look at his hurt hands.

    Those who prepare green wars,
    wars with gas, wars with fire,
    victories with no survivors,
    would put on clean clothes
    and walk about with their brothers
    in the shade, doing nothing.

    What I want should not be confused
    with total inactivity.
    Life is what it is about;
    I want no truck with death.

    If we were not so single-minded
    about keeping our lives moving,
    and for once could do nothing,
    perhaps a huge silence
    might interrupt this sadness
    of never understanding ourselves
    and of threatening ourselves with death.
    Perhaps the earth can teach us
    as when everything seems dead
    and later proves to be alive.

    Now I’ll count up to twelve
    and you keep quiet and I will go.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Renee. I’m off to a very good start. Greetings from friends from near and far, people I’ve known forever and not so long. For my birthday, Hans decided to wash my car yesterday. Wouldn’t you know it, half an hour after he finished it rained. It’s still clean and smells good on the inside, though.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. happy birthday
        what a treat it has been since ypu entered the trail that day however long agp it was

        seems like forever and only yesterday

        hope its a great one and the we enjoy man more together

        Liked by 1 person

  2. From Wendell Barry:

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks, PJ. I didn’t want to put this in the comment above, but for several days I’ve lived with the fear my daughter might have the virus. As of this morning, it seems more likely she does not. Let’s just say I am in the Hope business in a huge way right now.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. Rise and Face the Worst, Baboons,

    Several times in life, I have felt besieged like your friends, Renee. it is an experience of being lost, outside the flow of life. Or it seems so. Often how we perceive the lives of others, is really all illusion.

    In my early to late 30’s when my life crashed and it felt like I would lose everything, I had a book by William Bridges called “Transitions.” That book led me through the “neutral zone” of waiting and waiting for life to take hold again. He uses Greek mythology to illustrates his points, which at that point, seemed about right for me.

    Auden captures the feeling of suffering while life proceeds without you, as seen in the art of the Masters:

    Musee des Beaux Arts
    W. H. Auden

    About suffering they were never wrong,
    The old Masters: how well they understood
    Its human position: how it takes place
    While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
    How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
    For the miraculous birth, there always must be
    Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
    On a pond at the edge of the wood:
    They never forgot
    That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
    Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
    Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
    Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

    In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
    Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
    Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
    But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
    As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
    Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
    Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
    Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
    That perches in the soul –
    And sings the tune without the words –
    And never stops – at all –

    And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
    And sore must be the storm –
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm –

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
    And on the strangest Sea –
    Yet – never – in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb – of me.

    Emily Dickinson

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I may have posted this before, but oh well…

    Wild Geese

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.
    Mary Oliver

    Liked by 4 people

    1. More than likely you don’t need a ‘pro’ version. What size are you borrowing? If you like that, stick with that.
      And for memory, if you’re just using it for FaceTime, you can do the smallest.
      I keep teasing my boss. He ordered one with a Terabyte of memory. You know, for launching rockets and storing tons of videos. Neither of which he’s doing.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. They all do that. Photos will take some room for storage. So do at least the 128. Maybe even the next model with 256. Think you might use the “pencil” to write on it or draw? Kelly really likes the pencil on hers.


  6. I have the best friends! I really do. Don’t mean to brag, but I feel so blessed to have such caring, smart, (and smart ass), creative, and generous people in my life. There’s no way you can lose all the time when you’re surrounded by people like that. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  7. there is no choice to make about going forward.
    the option is not to go forward and that is not s choice
    he day it starts you hardly notice then its been a year then another but it will get better it will and it can happen only for so long for so long for so long and the option changes and the details change but once its sliding and he shuffle to keep it going while the slide is pushing requires a little bit more just a little the shuffle to a scramble to an all out scramble to get your feet back under you then finally the ability to come to rest for a minute and get the strength back in you legs long enough to wake up and hope for a better answer to the slog. a day worth giving yourself an a+ on. the spark to make it within reach to pursue and go forward knowing it was meant to be here a while ago but still requires additional work. just more ,more is the only option. cant stop here, cant stop now just one more step one more step one more step. tomorrow, tomorrow tomorrow. there is no option but to know its going to be better.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love you dearly, tim, but these old eyes wish you’d show a little mercy with some punctuation. Struggling through a lengthy post by you, is really something I don’t want to do at the end of a day, and I hate to miss anything you have to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was that or nothing for today’s post when I don’t get around to looking at the trail until 10 o’clock at night I have to make the executive decision whether to post you’re not on this particular post I wouldn’t have use punctuation anyway
        my er cummings brain kind of kicked in

        but ill remember
        make your font bigger


  8. Friends, who have both lost their jobs due to the current circumstances, left me the largest, most fragrant bouquet of daffodils I’ve ever seen on my doorstep this morning. They live in Northfield. I look at those flowers, and I feel the love that connects us all. What a blessing.

    Liked by 2 people

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