Thoughts about being lost...inspired by Rebecca Solnit.
This morning I lost my voice. It took me until mid-morning to answer the phone without sounding like I've smoked cigarettes for 50 years. I lost my voice....what does that mean?
I've been reading Rebecca Solnit's "A Field Guide to Getting Lost" and she's making me rethink the way that I see myself within this world.
At one point, she talks about different types of "lostness". I can lose something, an item...like my voice, or my wallet, or my dinner:)...or I can BE lost.
The world doesn't end if I lose something like my hat, my purse, a friend, or a dog...although sometimes I act as if I'm quite disoriented. But when I am the one that is lost, lost in the middle of a forest, then my world is lost too, because I have lost direction within it.
Now I've been thinking about this, because I wonder how much our actions actually push us to be more disconnected from our world, actually seeming to make ourselves the center of our own world. If we believe that God is indeed breathing within nature, within the wind, within other people, and within the laws of science...then it shouldn't matter how many things get discarded along the way. We should be standing firm within the fact that we are part of this larger, inter-connected masterpiece. We should act as if we are all touching, all sharing...me and the trees, me and the wind, me and the energy everywhere. I'm not trying to be all-wholistic and trippy, I'm merely expressing the thought that maybe it's just not always about "me".
In her book she talks about a certain native tribe called the Wintu. These people identify themselves completely within their surroundings. For instance, if they are standing facing North, then they have a West hand (left) and an East hand (right). But if they turn to face East....then they now have a North hand (left) and a South hand (right). These people see themselves in relation to their world, they identify themselves by first identifying their world.
Do we live that way? At all? Even just a little? I wonder.
Finally, a quote from one of her essay's in the book.
"Imagine yourself streaming through time shedding gloves, umbrellas, wrenches, books, friends, homes, names. This is what the view looks like if you take a rear-facing seat on the train. Looking forward you constantly acquire moments of arrival, moments of realization, moments of discovery."
(photo by Sabrina Ward Harrison)