The other day, Lisa Morphew opened Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost to this (and then she sent it to us):

Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing. There are objects and people that disappear from your sight or knowledge or possession; you lose a bracelet, a friend, the key. You still know where you are. Everything is familiar except that there is one item less, one missing element. Or you get lost, in which case the world has become larger than your knowledge of it. Either way, there is a loss of control. Imagine yourself streaming through time shedding gloves, umbrellas, wrenches, books, friends, homes, names. This is what the view looks like if you take a rear-facing seat on the train.

Looking forward you constantly acquire moments of arrival, moments of realization, moments of discovery. The wind blows your hair back and you are greeted by what you have never seen before. The material falls away in onrushing experience. It peels off like skin from a molting snake. Of course to forget the past is to lose the sense of loss that is also memory of an absent richness and a set of clues to navigate the present by; the art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.”

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost




Editor’s Note:  Since we started posting the occasional “Opened at Random”, a number of people have sent us what they have found by opening a book at random. So we’ve decided to publish some of those distant openings at random…

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One thought on “Opened at Random: A Field Guide to Getting Lost (How to Be Rich in Loss)

  1. I liked this book and i read it and it me love books more than anything.Before i hated hated books but this book changed my mind forever. I can’t wait to read another book by you!

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