Project 250 -7

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

“There is a pleasure in the pathlesswoods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not man the less, but nature more.”

— Christopher McCandless

Lost in thoughts. Lost in dreams. Lost in reality. Lost in ambition. Lost in direction. Lost in insomnia. Lost in the middle. Lost in transition. Lost in translation. Lost in love. Lost in loneliness. Lost in company. Lost into oblivion. Lost in happiness. Lost in misery. Lost in faith. Lost in darkness. Lost in woods. Lost on the streets. Lost without a will.

Lost. Lost. Lost.

Here is continuing “Project 250”, a personal project based on Michael Sorkin’s Two Hundred Fifty Things an Architect Should Know.

96. How to get lost.

The fantasy of getting lost to be found is ancient.Not all those who lost are found, or find themselves. Some lose themselves further. Creativity thrives on the art of getting lost though. Until you are ready to forget everything you know, wipe the slate clean, and get lost into the process, you cannot fully submit yourself to finding the best solution, creating the best product.

Nothing about being lost will ever be complete without talking about Christopher McCandless. “In the Wild” started as with the average angst against the materialist world, slowly evolved into a quest for purpose, and find self before it ended up about being lost without a map in Alaska, and losing to starvation. I will forever be conflicted about Christopher McCandless. Setting out on a journey without destination — the idea itself is so liberating, I can only imagine how it feels be actually free to take that next step to anywhere without thinking ten steps ahead on where you would land. But where is the liberation for those who suffer, if the ones who want to change the world lose themselves on paths that serve none?

Romanticizing death. Romanticizing foolhardiness. Romanticizing the idea of being lost on purpose. To an extent where that yellow bus air-lifted to discourage pilgrim hikers from losing against rough terrain.

It’s been a hard year, hard month, and a hard week. Los Angeles covered in smoke after seeing blue skies during quarantine. Before we hurrahed on fixing global warming by working from home and walking to the grocery store with our reusable grocery bags, there it was, the smoke in the mountains. Some revealed the gender of the world to the baby, and I still don’t know what the dark gray stands for. Probably gender fluid. Meanwhile, one little pleasure that 2020 graced us with, the outdoors- hikes, trails and beaches are all out of limits with bad air quality, confining us to our homes.

How to get lost?

How to get lost when you can’t tie your shoelaces and run into the wild? How to get lost when you can’t drive up the mountain without navigation? How to get lost when you can’t be drenched in the ocean waves? How to get lost when you can’t travel? How to get lost when you can’t do anything that physically takes you away from your found world? How to get lost in a home full of people, working, attending school and lounging (the dog!)? How to get lost when you are anchored physically to your first, second and third space? How to get lost when your ambition to be more and do more is calling? How to get lost when you don’t believe in the art of meditation? How to get lost when you are suppressed under the mental toll of being a working mother in a pandemic?

Lost, in to-do lists, and reminders, and alarms and alerts and notifications…

The doom and gloom of politics, economics, society and social life… the hierarchy of race, capital and geography… There is no space to be, but here. There are no mountains to hike, trails to woods, and oceans to explore. It’s four walls and us, and all that’s in and on our minds. It’s depressing to write, and to read it, try living it. Lost, into the oblivion, unable to feel any of this, unable to be present.

“This Is Your Life, And It’s Ending One Minute At A Time.”

-Fight Club

Absolutely — this is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time, irrespective of a pandemic, fire, flood, earthquake or any other hazard headed your way. It’s ending, eventually, and if you don’t do create your own lost and found fantasy portal in your mind palace, you will be forever be lost into oblivion. Take that moment out of your day, steal it, seize it, lose yourself in things that you love to do, be present.. be lost in present.. disregard all those alerts and notifications…

Lost, on purpose. Lost, for a purpose. Lost, to find a purpose…

How to get lost?

Pandemic life of a working mother during fire conditions in Southern California aside, I would love to get lost in Los Angeles. I would love to be lost on the streets looking at the murals depicting different cultures, different stories… I would love to be lost in the hustle and bustle of night markets… I would love to be lost in the dark alleys behind sky scrapers… I would love to be lost watching the diversity in landscape in front of the houses.. the purple painted walls… I would love to be lost… lost in Los Angeles…China Town… Korea Town… Little Tokyo… the list is long, places too many… I want to be lost in spaces between the designed and the developed…

I want to be lost where I can be found..

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