A river runs through it
If you were to drop me off in the middle of a wilderness, woodland or desert, a few days later I would walk out wearing a smile and weighing few pounds more than I did when you dropped me off. (If you actually decide to do it to me, please, remember that I would prefer woodlands.)
But, if you placed me in the center of a town much larger than two blocks square, I probably would be lost within five or ten minutes.
One is my strength and the other is my weakness. The first was partially learned, but, mostly, it came instinctually. The second is just that way it is for me and I can do nothing about it. In the first, I cannot become lost; in the second, I seemingly have no control over the situation.
You might have heard/read me say/write those words before.
These two characteristics seem to exist in the world of reality, but, in another sense, I can become lost in time anywhere from minutes to years. You probably can, too, in the manner of which I am writing about now. I can get lost in a song or in a number of songs on the radio. I can get lost in a book or in a series of books by a particular author. I can get lost in a job or in a woman or in an avocation or on a river journey in a canoe.
I have gotten lost in a dream, in a woman's eyes, in a storm on a big, big lake. I have gotten lost in Nirvana and while falling breathless in the white tunnel of death.
This week, I began unpacking a few boxes of the books I still tote around with me. It was symbolic of making a decision, I guess, to keep this house as "Firebase Fram" for a while. The reason I initially began unpacking the boxes, however, was because I was looking for a specific book, "The Lessons of History," by Will and Ariel Durant.
I have written at least two posts about that pair, and mentioned them briefly in other posts. They became lost, too, lost in each other and lost in the study of history. What I love most of them, in a romantic sense, is that she was about fifteen and he was about twenty-seven when they married. She roller skated to her wedding. They had some rough years, mostly because she was so very young, but they lasted until old age claimed them both -- they lasted, because they became lost in each other and in a mutual love, the study of history.
My intention had been to entirely reprint one of their enduring chapters of absolute wisdom from that book as a last post before retreating into the woodwork (note, woodwork, not woodlands) for a few weeks. But, although I have two copies of the book, I have not run across either one yet. So, that chapter will wait until another day to be reprinted here. The chapter I planned to use, incidentally, was about the "thin veneer of civilization." Civilization might be on the verge of collapse, I think.
So, instead, I decided to write a few paragraphs with my own words about the "thin veneer of reality." If you doubt that reality is thin, then, in the simplest sense, you have no imagination; or, in an abstract logic, you have lived a very sheltered life and never have accepted the fact that Mythago Wood and Neverland and Somewhere Over the Rainbow actually do exist. Dante Alighieri wrote about the nine circles of hell. Has it occurred to you there might be nine circles of earthly life? Probably not.
And, allow me to simply say here that I hope we all will become lost again and again -- hopefully, lost in the eyes of another. If not that, at least lost in a book or a dream or a vision of a dream yet to become a reality. Life really is wonderful for those who have the ability to become lost in it -- if only for a few hours or a few weeks at a time. Maybe, even just for a moment at a time.
As for myself, I am adrift in a canoe on a river where mist and fog shroud the approaching bend. If I seem to be rambling a bit, that is because it is my nature, too.
So-o-o-o-o, send me a smile, blow me a kiss, wave until I am out of sight .... I am about to become lost again. For a while, anyway. Possibly, never to return to reality. Good. It is about time. See you around. Maybe. If I am able to determine which reality is real.