I never did know where I was, even when I was home
Today I will be reading Rebecca Solnit's book: A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Rebecca Solnit is the author of thirteen books about art, landscape, public and collective life, ecology, politics, hope, meandering, reverie, and memory.
I came to her writing through my persistently and increasing interest for nature writing. And a hero of mine, Thoreau, is by no doubt present in Solnit's book:
Not till we are lost, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relationsA Field Guide to Getting Lost is broken into nine pieces. Five of them are autobiographical accounts in which Solnit interprets her youth, all the while borrowing freely from high culture (Plato’s Meno) and low culture (Vertigo), the natural world (desert tortoises), and American history (Lewis and Clark). The other four pieces are all entitled “The Blue of Distance” (they’re alternated with the other five) and in these Solnit explores previous artists, writers, and explorers who stubbornly chased the horizon, many of whom developed an odd fixation with the color blue in the process.
For Woolf, getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are
It's not about being lost but about trying to lose yourself.