(Roughly) Daily

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us”*…

 

Passwords, passports, umbrellas, scarves, earrings, earbuds, musical instruments, W-2s, that letter you meant to answer, the permission slip for your daughter’s field trip, the can of paint you scrupulously set aside three years ago for the touch-up job you knew you’d someday need: the range of things we lose and the readiness with which we do so are staggering. Data from one insurance-company survey suggest that the average person misplaces up to nine objects a day, which means that, by the time we turn sixty, we will have lost up to two hundred thousand things. (These figures seem preposterous until you reflect on all those times you holler up the stairs to ask your partner if she’s seen your jacket, or on how often you search the couch cushions for the pen you were just using, or on that daily almost-out-the-door flurry when you can’t find your kid’s lunchbox or your car keys.) Granted, you’ll get many of those items back, but you’ll never get back the time you wasted looking for them. In the course of your life, you’ll spend roughly six solid months looking for missing objects; here in the United States, that translates to, collectively, some fifty-four million hours spent searching a day. And there’s the associated loss of money: in the U.S. in 2011, thirty billion dollars on misplaced cell phones alone…

Katherine Shulz on the varieties of loss:

Disappearance reminds us to notice, transience to cherish, fragility to defend. Loss is a kind of external conscience, urging us to make better use of our finite days…

Find her exquisite piece in full at “When things go missing.”

* Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

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As we suspend the search, we might send wistful birthday greetings to an eloquent eulogizer bucolic picnics (and other lost pleasures), Kenneth Grahame; he was born on this date in 1859.  A career officer at the Bank of England–he retired as its Secretary– he is better remembered as the author of tales he created to delight his son Alastair, The Wind in the Willows and The Reluctant Dragon (both of which were made into films by Disney: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and The Reluctant Dragon).

John Singer Sargent’s drawing of Grahame

 source

 

Written by LW

March 8, 2017 at 1:01 am

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