A poem: The Greatest Hazard of All, Losing One’s Self

“The Greatest Hazard of All, Losing One’s Self”

The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss — an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. — is sure to be noticed.
— Kierkegaard

Here's a poem, inspired by some personal struggles in 2015 and this quote by Kierkegaard:

How does it happen?
The loss of one’s self
folds tenderly into the night,
like a dream folds into our memories — 
gracefully mute, impactful, and void.
Morning masks our loss and we move on
haunted only by the feeling of a potent, forgotten dream. 
The greatest loss
is the most subtle loss of all.
We’re left longing, 
clinging for nothing, 
and everything.
We cling to the wrong thing.
The thing stays for a while, and we don’t notice. 
Then one day, the thing rips away
and we’re raw and confused as to why we feel so alone.
I run, run, run,
to feel the pain hard, and catch my self again, 
re-experience what was once lost.
The rip can be the most painful
and yet the most healing,
bridging self to home.
Tender, I am found again,
and I tell myself I’m never letting go again, for the fifth time.
The loss of one’s self
folds tenderly into the night…

-Brielle Elise