“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.”~ “common proverb” ~ author unknown to Lin.
I recall driving back from the Gulf Coast several, several years ago, taking side-roads through southern Alabama on my way to Montgomery, I-65 and points northward, and came upon some detour signs for the road I was on. After a number of twists, turns, and what felt like backtracking, I stopped at a small roadside market, planning on asking for directions (Rand McNally in hand, and no GPS on a flip-phone. 🙂. The young gent behind the counter simply smiled at me when I made the statement “I think I’m lost.” He said “You’re not lost, you’re simply wandering.” I loved that response, and have said it to myself countless times on the myriad of travels since.
Yet, it is still interesting how the word ‘lost’ conjures up all sorts of scary thoughts and images: Hansel and Gretel, the Big Bad Wolf, Snipes hunting You, Michael Myers. (Not Mike Myers; he was Shrek), Chupacabra, or The Wendigo. Scary, scary, scary – these stories and images from youngerhood. Alive and well!
Lost contributes to the alone-and-unknown and what that entails. There’s lost-at-sea, lost-in-the-woods, even lost-in-space. (“Danger, Will Robinson, danger.” ) See! Scary.
Now, to continue the theme, there is also the mental lost-in-thought, engrossed in a project, or preoccupied by a problem. (Just fancy words for ‘lost.‘) When folks realize they have been lost / engrossed / preoccupied there tends to be a head shake-physical jolt in the return to time-space reality. Especially if someone else has come upon them and “caught ’em” being lost. (Huh ~ don’t want someone else to think I’m losing – or have lost – my marbles. Ha!)
All these words describe the essence of lost: Astray ~ off-course ~ disoriented ~ adrift ~ confused ~ bewildered. I know I have felt mentally and emotionally, and sometimes geographically ‘lost’ in my time here in Delaware. I find bits’n’pieces of similar-familiar and breathe a bit easier, yet am still ‘working on’ me being the one to find myself, as the quote implies. Therefore, I’ve decided to open my own Lost-and-Found department. Will let you know how that’s going.