Have you ever gotten lost? Lost when you were little was a very disturbing experience, the fear creeps in fast when you can no longer see your Momma. As an adult, getting lost is a little harder. Modern conveniences make it seem nearly impossible to get lost. Garmen talks, cell phones have mapquest, cars have lo-jacks. Dang, people chip their pets….and some psycho parents chip their kids.
(Extremely disturbing! Personal freedom is essentially non-existent. My childhood was totally off the grid and that psychology of disconnection and freedom from surveillance was important. I still think it is important, but that is the topic of a different posting)
So, as adults, when we get lost it is in airport parking garages or in foreign cities. Sometimes we get physically lost because our minds have been in a mini-fugue; we get lost in our thoughts, our worries, our fear and our anxiety. Occasionally we get caught up in something joyous, momentous and get lost. Most often what we lose is not ourselves but our direction or a sense of time. We forget to watch the clock because we are lost in a book, a project, a sunset, a lover. And we let the clock keep us from permitting the possibility of getting lost. We are conditioned to fear getting lost. The proverbial Hansel & Gretal rule: get lost and a wicked woman in a deep woods cabin will cook you for her supper. So, we stay on the paved path walked by everyone else. We stick to the well-traveled, well-worn and well-known, careful not to venture outside or out of bounds. And if, by chance we do stray, we scramble trying to make the course correction, panicked and fretting. Wouldn’t it be great if Garmen said……when you miss a turn…..“keep driving for the next 26.3 miles, there is a fabulous independent French bakery ahead at 26.3 miles. Eat the eclairs!” Instead, Garmen says, “Make the next legal U-turn” in the middle of the eight lane interstate when you are driving 85 miles an hour, sandwiched between two semi-tractor trailers.
I want to let myself get lost. I want to welcome the accidental diversion. I want to take the less traveled path. I am no frontier woman. I am not hoping to slash my way though some wild, uncharted territory, that feels too solitary and very difficult to share with others. But I want to live a life and have the experience of being uncommon, unpredictable, easily and fearlessly random and to be at ease in the whole process. And I want to be enthusiastic and enraptured and captivated by the beauty I see. I want to have the same childish wonderment that I gasp and point and say, “Look, look. Isn’t that amazing?”