Saturday, October 22, 2011

When lost...



Found on Kelly Kilmer's blog this week, where she offers a bright, enlightening post on artist Mary Blair, a quote from Henry David Thoreau which tells some of my story: "Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."

When lost, panic is pointless. What serves us is a version of treading water, staying in place, yet not idle. And companions, as they might be called, such as flat tin boxes of watercolors or polychromos (is it not a graceful word?) pencils. As I became lost while going about my life in my own home, I, in the only true preparedness I can claim, had emergency supplies on hand, including, in no particular order: a blank envelope, a pencil, a very fine-line waterproof pen, scissors, a glue stick, a sheet of white card stock, a Prismacolor Sunburst Yellow pencil, something red, glitter, color photocopies, paper for drawing, a good eraser, a rainbow ink pad, alphabet stamps. Bottled water and dark chocolate are also recommended to keep one company for the duration.

If there is a trick to what Thoreau described, it is to be lost long enough for awareness to wander along and sit down, let us get caught up in its story and realize that lost is not who we thought it to be.

19 comments:

Laoch of Chicago said...

As I get older I think we are all lost most of the time.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - This is what I've discovered, too. So making peace with being lost becomes essential.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

with all of those things, what more could a gal want?!

JeannetteLS said...

I think one of the most wonderful things life can offer is getting lost in our own home... as we are doing something we love.

Antares Cryptos said...

Perfect way to find oneself is by creating and get lost in the so-called "zone".

Any mention of art supplies evokes a Pavlovian response;)

Antares Cryptos said...

"getting lost"

The art of comment grammar. Sigh.

grrl + dog said...

mm..

lost with chocolate isn't lost at all.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kerry - Who needs answers when one can doodle their way through the questions? It is more than enough. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jeanette - Exactly. Completely redefining what it means to be lost, for it is lost and no mistake, but with acknowledgement - and work/activity that we love - it is far from a fearsome state. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - I can salivate over an art gum eraser. And the lost/found conundrum becomes more about surrendering to what/who we have always been...differently connected to, as you call it, RL.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - And lost with chocolate and art materials...who needs found? xo

Jayne said...

Oh Marylinn- This is exactly how my daughter gets lost--paints and paper and glue sticks and glitter and... oh yes, and chocolate! Lots and lots of chocolate...

I love watching her get lost. And it's a wonder when she returns, not wholly remembering where she's been.

We should all be so lost! ;)

RachelVB said...

When you get lost time after time, you being to have a wonderful sense of direction.
xoxo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - As you describe your daughter, I wonder whether my lostness (word?) came before or after I sat down with that envelope and assorted tools. Likely it is all of a piece, nothing before or after, all while involved in the act of being human. To have found this valuable secret so young...I am happy for her and the joys that await. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - It does give us that finely-honed sense of direction, certainly knowing which direction NOT to pick. xo

beth coyote said...

I think of lost as another version of finding yourself, as you say, immersed in a project, making art or music or love.

David Wagoner's poem "Lost" speaks to being found by the forest. And letting immersion happen.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - I've copied the Wagoner poem here, for it says more than I could. Thank you. xo

Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

David Wagoner

T. Clear said...

Wow, what a wonderful surprise to find the Wagoner poem in the last comment...thank-you.

Wandering through my own version of "lost" in, yes, my own reclaimed house. Taking delight in the burning of things that are better being lost to embers than being found and kept whole.

xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

T - For our own greater good, some things do need to be lost, don't they? Usually, in my case, the act of losing was taken out of my hands. How wise to be able to release willingly.

Glad you enjoyed the poem, as did I. xo