I have been physically lost at least twice in my life time. Not scarily lost, not the type of lost where I held the fear that I wouldn't be able to figure out where I was going, but the mild sort of lost where you know where you are, know that you can get where you need to go, but aren't sure how to get there.
Event number one: I was on a hike with a group for a summer camp program. I would have been eight or nine and we were living in South Eastern Alaska. Some of us must of went ahead and got off the trail. I don't really remember being told as a child that it was important to stay on the trail; we played in the woods a lot. I am pretty confident we were told if we felt like we were truly lost to stay put and someone would come find us. Some one in the group decided the thing to do was to go down, that sooner or later we would run into the trail that switched backed up and down the mountain. And sure enough, we did find the trail.
Event number two: Venice, Italy. The person I had been traveling with was tired and wanted to go back to the hotel room for a nap but I wanted to keep exploring so we split up. This is a big deal for me, I'm not one to go unfamiliar locations on my own. I started walking and soon realized I'd gotten off the main paths and wasn't really sure how to get back to where I needed to be (I never did find the maps of Venice all that helpful.). I decided to just keep walking, figuring that sooner or later I'd find something that looked familiar. And sure enough I did.
There is something about this kind of lost that helps us build trust in ourselves.
I have two words for this year, release (last year's word that I'm not done with yet) and liminal.
This past week I've been immersed in words and story. Remembering how important they are to me.
Hurry Up and Wait by Maira Kalman and Daniel Handler: “Next time, you hurry, and I’ll be the thing waiting here while you pass by.”
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, writing about butterflies and more: "Instar implies something both celestial and ingrown, something heavenly and disastrous, and perhaps change is commonly like that, a buried star, oscillating between near and far."
I checked both of these out from the library, but I really do want them in my permanent library.
Brain pickings Maria Popova. A blog I need to spend more time at.