Tuesday, January 26, 2010


She always thought that once she was found, well, that she would no longer be lost. But she began to realize that being found didn’t mean that you were no longer lost. And in fact, as ridiculous as it may sound, she discovered that being found could often make one feel even more lost than before.

* * *

Take for example, a seed. If you lose a seed, you may find it again. But when you do find it, it may look quite different. You will not find the seed itself, but rather you will find what the seed became.

Or you may have a rock collection, and say you lose a rock from that collection. Maybe it’s a piece of rose quartz, maybe it’s a piece of obsidian, or maybe it’s that block of pyrite. Whichever one it is that you happen to lose, when you encounter it again, you may not even recognize it.

It may have ended up pulverized and paved into a sidewalk or street. It may have been eroded and now is part of the ground that feeds the seed that became a flower or a tree. Or it may still be sitting in the place in which you dropped it, buried deeply by the changing of seasons.

The point here is of course the reason that she still felt lost even though she had been found.

She was not that seed any longer. Her form and shape had changed drastically over the years. Who she was now seemed nothing like who she might have been.

She was the sidewalk now. Or the street. Or the flower. Or the tree. But she was no longer the little seed or the tiny rock that once belonged to a young couple’s dream or a small child’s collection.

She was grown-up now. She had been pulverized and paved. She had been scattered and transplanted, and now pieces of her had gone every which way, so that when she finally was found, well, there was no way to truly gather her and put her back together.

The state in which she was found was certainly her, but what she came to realize was that the “her” that had been found would always to a certain degree be lost. The act of being found could not magically recover the pieces of her that had been lost or trampled or scattered over the years.

As absurd as you may think she is for thinking such a thing, she did for quite some time hope that being found would somehow mean that all the little pieces of her that had been lost would somehow resurface and find their way back to her—that the simple act of being found would mysteriously yet concretely make her whole.

But now, as time passed since being found, her sense of being lost, although it had diminished in small ways, only seemed to grow in larger ways.

She would find herself on hands and knees peering beneath the car to make certain she was not hiding beneath the carriage. She would stare into the mirror, thinking that if she stared long enough, she would find the answer to all that still felt lost.

She stood in corners and hid under covers. She cried in the bathroom and wept in the shower. She could not quite explain why, other than the disappointment and despair that she felt when the act of being found turned out not to be the undoing of her being lost.

* * *

And this state of being found but still feeling lost has created quite a quagmire for her personally and socially, for the world she lives in views her now as being found. And with her fortunate state of being found, the world she lives in expects her to behave accordingly, to act according to the protocol of one who has been found.

So, she conducts herself as best as she knows how, now as one who has been found—that is why she feels obliged to sob only when she is in the bathroom or taking a shower, when no one can see her or hear her.

But all along, silently and increasingly, she knows that the charade will begin to falter, and that her containment will begin to bulge.

She can only go along in life for so long in a state of being found but feeling lost before the absurdity and incongruity of it all begin to warp and crack the surface of the world in which she lives.

She knows that eventually she will find herself slipping through the little cracks and buckling at the bending surface.

She and the world all the while thinking that she had finally been found will come to realize that all that she had so carefully assembled to resemble her self would once again be lost.

Hence, to be found does not mean to no longer be lost. But to be lost does not ineluctably mean one needs to be found.

Perhaps, she will one day find peace, knowing that she will always remain as both.


Jo said...

I have read this post over and over again and it's such beautiful writing Melissa, it truly is.

Mia_h_n said...

I agree with Jo. Loved it.

I hope she finds her courage to live her life with truth. Lost, found or something in between..but only feeling obliged to herself to be who she is.

I have faith in her.