lost in the backyard again
This blogged under the title You’re Lost, 2011–
Some common moorland bird, I never knew its name, makes a strange piping two-note call. Clagged up in a tiny but brutally self-similar stretch of peat somewhere between the Chew Valley and Laddow Rocks, we would imitate the sound but substitute the words, “You’re lost”. Later, experience of advanced outdoor techniques like this made it impossible for me to be terrorised by The Blair Witch Project. Grappling to release Rebecca Solnit’s determined grip on the meanings of being lost, I suddenly remembered this, from Nick Flynn’s superb memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: “I see no end to being lost. You can spend your entire life simply falling in that direction… Once you make it back, if you make it back, you will stand before your long-lost friends but in some essential way they will no longer know you.” Could anyone wish for a happier ending? (Except, of course, no longer knowing yourself?)
Not knowing yourself has always appealed. That whole waking to find you’ve no recollection who you are where you came from etc. Probably for no more complex reason than my general love of mystery. Your own lost past. What fun. Never the clean slate it promises; Treadstone and your exes will always find you. But for a little while maybe you can still try to be whomever you like.