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comment by lil
lil  ·  282 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Could I Get Lost? [A Usenet thread from 1991]

bfx: say more. Why did this interest you? What is it about the author's getting or being lost that caught your attention?

Remember the first line of Dante's Inferno

    Midway upon the journey of our life

    I found myself within a forest dark,

    For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Having lost the pathway, the poet says, "I found myself within the forest dark."


I've also always liked this poem:


  Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

I have made this place around you.

If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows

Where you are. You must let it find you.

-- David Wagoner


ButterflyEffect  ·  281 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Part of it was neither the getting or being lost, but the archival nature of the internet. This is a thread from 1991, which somehow still exists on the internet. Imagine all the stories, the catalogs of life as it is, that could be available for an unprecedented period of time. I'd like to think I came across a rather interesting small section of the internet with that find.

The getting and being lost is, of course, interesting. And terrifying. It's mostly terrifying, really. People regularly die because they have got lost, or ventured off into the wilderness without the proper skills to get around. As I progress to more and more difficult or lengthy trips, being as safe as possible starts to become more of a priority. Reading how people get into and (hopefully) get out of these situations is an interesting read into their physical, but more importantly, mental condition.

Every trip has a goal of being a round-trip.

lil  ·  281 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Every trip has a goal of being a round-trip.

I suppose. Even so:

    All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware. - Martin Buber

But in the end:

    We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. - T. S. Eliot

1991 is pretty old in internet time. My first freenet account was in 1995. It was so amazing - and so slow. We waited and waited for our dial-up connections to bring back data. But it still was faster than going to a library and finding an encyclopedia. :-)

ButterflyEffect  ·  280 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a beautiful quote from T. S. Eliot, is that an excerpt from a larger work?

lil  ·  280 days ago  ·  link  ·  

TS Elliot wrote a poetry book called " The Four Quartets." All the poems seem to deal with time. The quote is from "Little Gidding," one of the four long poems in that book.

However, I first saw the quote as an epigraph in "The Magus' by John Fowles.