Meditation on Ruin

by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom brawl,
or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.


  1. Here! Here! TGIF, indeed.

    Now this was a different spin on the straw that broke the camel's back. We humans can endure only so much.

  2. This is so true! And so well put.

  3. A meaningful piece (great photo, too).
    Yup, on Thursday morning for my leaving-late husband it was the sudden accumulation of a thin scale of ice on the windshield that hadn't been there an hour before when he walked the dogs. ;)

  4. Wow. That's incredibly true.

  5. Reminds me of the time that I got made fun of in Science by my teacher, along with other things that happened during the day. Then I got to work and the belt on the vacuum broke. *sigh* That was the most I could take.

    Lol. I like that poem, it's so true.

  6. There's just so much we can endure! Have a peaceful weekend, Ciao

  7. For me, it was stepping on a packet of ketchup at the gas station and having feeling it squirt of the back of my calf!

    Wonderful post...

  8. It's the "if you cross the (invisible) line again in the backseat of the car" or THE LOOK that your brother/sister gives you that starts the hell-raising again:>) Funny to look back on those days.
    Aced her audition!!! Well done, grrrrlie:>)

  9. I loved this poem so much I printed it out and will paste it on the inside of my notebook. So true. I'm feeling a little...undone...right now.

  10. The small losses awaken the pain of all the big losses we've endured. That's my theory.


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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