I think the best place to be is wherever you are; failing that, being lost is pretty good too.
Which is convenient, cause that’s where I is.
I’m not lost in the physical sense; or even really in the moral, spiritual, purpose-y kinda way. I’m just lost. And it’s a little refreshing, though scary.
Being lost requires a few important components, I’ve noted. As a lost human, I’m probably talking out of my ass; but to be truly good lost, you sorta need the below:
1. A dandelion seed
2. A lack of fucks
3. A broken compass
Now, the dandelion seed is metaphor: to get well and truly lost, you need to be able to fly to the whims of someone else’s desires. So a good way to get lost is to set a goal for yourself. In my case, it’s setting too many ambitious goals at one time. Like learning a bajillion languages (actual number), or listening to a bajillion musics. Or doing a bajillion things at the same time.
But then you have this short-circuit overload way in the wrong part of your brainstem, where you sort your shit out. Wernicke and Broca suddenly decide to switch places, and you read what you speak, and speak what you read. And life suddenly becomes this big ol’ riddle for you to solve.
And then you get upset, because really, who likes being lost? I know that, at least when I have places to be, I does not like being lost. I don’t like the sensation of wrongness that’s like a coat that you need to keep adjusting because it keeps shifting slightly to the left on your body.
That itchy sensation that you’re just doing something wrong. It’s like the feelings of eyes on your back, or that song regret plays when you done goofed’s overture. That kinda lost is bad.
But when you don’t give a fuck. When being late on the clock is just fine with you. When you have no friends, and nowhere to be, and you can just chill under the stars. That is primo.
When you’re lost like that, you’re just wandering. Your spirit is flying. You see little unknowns that don’t need explanation cause they just are. You let your feet clap the ground with whatever timbre your shoes need to make; and suddenly your somewhere else.
You end up like some cold short-story by some argentinian writer. The stars represent the Sephirot, and you’re on a mission that got totally fucked because you forgot the map, and you forgot the point. Then the ending is some big ellipses, because if you put a period on the end, then it would lose all its wonder.
Like Borges, or my recent j’adore: Clarice Lispector.
Mm. Mm. MM. Her prose, man.
Even when it’s translated it sounds like romantic love dipped in opium. It has that quality of music played at just the speed it takes to puncture the fine film of indifference the layers itself around your heart. It feels like Nabokov suddenly realized the terror that lies in the beauty of the human aortic; the sudden realization that yes, you too, are some atomic meaning; that your heart is not yours, and that it can be a perfect contradiction.
It can be a broken compass, where the point is sideways and southwest. Where a crack in the glass is the revelation. Where the fact that Hope means Cricket in portuguese is all you need in the world to exist. The fact that all your verbs in Romance are irregularities and variations on a theme suddenly takes on the profundity you search for in daily life.
It’s like Italo Calvino’s traveler has suddenly decided to jump onto your computer screen, while looking at the randomized images above, to tell you “Hey, dude, you’re on the right track”.
And when you look at that broken compass, you realize that it’s not really broken: not really. It’s just not pointing the direction everyone else’s is. The magnetic of its north is tuned just a few degrees past acceptable. And the sky is some big blue nothing that you need to stay alive.
I don’t even know what that means, but I prefer it to the sensation of having to find the right way. When the destination is all that matters.
When you’re good lost, you get to take wrong alley-ways, but they’re suddenly right. The night is alive with magic. Vibrations and christmas lights and strangers are set to whatever tune you wish. The moon decides to watch your glorious isochronal wandering with envy. Foucault ain’t got nothing on you. The moon is stuck in its regular celestial perambulation, destined to be the same speck of craterous beauty for eternity.
But you, you get to be a seed on the wind. You get to see the world change. You get to watch the birth of abstractions, and the flowing color of hair that adjusts to whatever fad is currently en vogue.
You get to watch the rise and fall of the universe in short form. A flash fiction on time’s grand wheel.
You get to dream, and hope, and not know what’s going to happen next. And it does not matter that that is the case, because all you really know is that you’re excited about that moment, when it comes. And then it does come.
And then, you reached your destination, and the journey ends. You didn’t know that the squeeze was the juice, until you stopped sipping. You accomplished the goal others wanted you to, and now there’s….nothing.
And so, with whatever the hell that was, I prefer to get lost. Have nowhere to be, have no plans. Because that means I get to be ambitious. I don’t have to use any goal to justify my continued existence.
I can continue taking turns into the next moment, and see what happens from there.
And right on the horizon, is something I know I want.