Sunday, August 10, 2014

Getting Lost

All of us feel lost or have been lost at some point during our lives. It can be very disconcerting and even terrifying. It has been my experience that stories can help us to find our way. We may not have the same stories but we relate and identify with the feelings and with what happens. They act as the guide posts.

I've been reading two books, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill and The Heroine's Journey, by Maureen Murdock. I think they are both about getting lost, and finding yourself in loosing yourself.

After reading this article in Brian Pickings, about a book entitled, A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, the stories about getting lost really make so much sense to me. They help me to adjust my attitude, and to be more confident and less anxious, when ever I find myself in this state.

Rebecca Solnit is an amazing person I think, and delves into the grit of life. I listened to her being interviewed talking about her experiences in two of her recent books, Men Explain Things to Me, and last year, The Faraway Nearby.

I think The Field Guide to Getting Lost is particularly relevant to artists. Here's a quote.

" Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own. Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, “live always at the ‘edge of mystery’ — the boundary of the unknown.” But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into that dark sea. "

T and O map by Bartholomaeus Angelicus, 1392, from Umberto Eco's 'The Book of Legendary Lands.'

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