Prompt: "Lost"

December 16, 2016

I've been lost before. Some unknown land with unknown sounds all around me. The signs didn't read English. We drove and drove and we were going nowhere. But we were everywhere at the same time. Adrenaline. Laughter. Time together navigating the unknown terrain underneath us. Time and space didn't matter. We were truly together.

 

Tolkien says, "not all those who wander are lost." I have tried to be a rooted vagabond my whole life. Wandering here and there to a foreign land, to a cause I can advocate for. I have not considered it a lostness - no it has been for me a familiar home to not know what is going on or what might be around the bend. That has been my high.

 

Now, here, in this mental state do I truly experience a sense of lostness. Without roots. Without her. Without my own internal expertise on how to navigate the coming unknown. I think I realize that I had to stop wandering to truly be lost, and in this lostness I might just find myself. Maybe, for the first time ever.

 

Mary Oliver writes that for "years we have wandered over common ground while dreaming of ships that sail in the night." This is the life I have pursued. Sailing those ships. Exploring those lands. Like Magellan before me I have looked to the horizon and said, "let's go." I have found my islands to die in. But I am not dead yet.

 

"What is life but reaching for an answer. And what is death but a refusal to grow." This poem comes to me now as I still look to a horizon and question if I can still sail onward to unknown adventures. Ironically, stuck here by my own volition, unable to go anywhere, I am finally and utterly lost.

 

I must trust the poets -- that lost is exactly where I need to be.

 

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© 2018 by ANDREW SYED