I Am Learning To Abandon the World

MY DAY was going relatively well until I received a message from A. “Hey Jols, how’s it going?” she asked. “Did you start working yet or did you decide to go to grad school?”

I swiped the notification away; I didn’t want to tell her that, four months after graduation, I ended up doing neither.

I am still unemployed and, instead of going to grad school, I am currently taking a quick construction course online. I rarely do anything of note — days and weeks go by and I just eat, I do chores, I watch Netflix and sports. At night, I pop a pill to help me sleep. If I stay up too late my chest starts to hurt, then my temples and my limbs and the rest of my body also start to hurt. It hurts to wake up sometimes.

So, how’s my life going? It isn’t going great, man, that’s for sure.


I Am Learning To Abandon the World
Linda Pastan

I am learning to abandon the world
before it can abandon me.
Already I have given up the moon
and snow, closing my shades
against the claims of white.
And the world has taken
my father, my friends.
I have given up melodic lines of hills,
moving to a flat, tuneless landscape.
And every night I give my body up
limb by limb, working upwards
across bone, towards the heart.
But morning comes with small
reprieves of coffee and birdsong.
A tree outside the window
which was simply shadow moments ago
takes back its branches twig
by leafy twig.
And as I take my body back
the sun lays its warm muzzle on my lap
as if to make amends.

I lifted the poem from Poetry Foundation. It was originally published in Linda Pastan’s PM/AM: New and Selected Poems (1982).

The featured image is a photo of the new batch of cheesecakes I baked today. At least I can still make cheesecakes.

8 Comments

  1. Gabriela

    I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. Know that you’re not alone, it’s a crazy job market out there. I have been trying to find a job too, and I know how pervasive that feeling of utter uselessness is. It seeps into everything and some days it’s just impossible to shake off. But ‘a feeling’ doesn’t define our worth as human beings. Here’s to better days!

    Liked by 1 person

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