I got lost today. I had an appointment a couple cities away, and somehow, I got up early, studied and got to the destination without flaw. As I was driving home, I called Carl to tell him how beautifully I'd executed my plan and that I would be home shortly. Then, I promptly missed my exit, (an exit I never saw), and was headed for the hills, literally, of Portland.

For the last two months I've tried to keep a positive outlook on getting lost, as it happens frequently. I think of it as my time to really explore the area, to see places that I never would otherwise, to get a feel for things. I was awesome at this for a while, until about an hour into the abyss of endless, winding road and unfamiliar areas, I began to feel upset. I've made it a point lately to not listen to music in the car, but rather, let it be a time for thinking deliberately for a brief time. I think this is a fantastic, and un-fantastic idea.

Today, whilst I was driving about, I thought myself right into a dither and ended up in a grocery store parking lot in a city I did not know the name of. I sat there, with the phone in my hand, wanting to make a phone call to someone who perhaps did not want to talk to me. I thought about shoulds and shouldn'ts, dids and didn'ts, should haves and could haves. I am frequently thinking of these things. I wanted to yell, "I am lost and I am sorry, please show me the way back home." Just then, Carl called. Turns out, the road home was just two blocks away.

Thinking is a good thing, of course. But sometimes, it is too much to think just with our heads. Sometimes we need to think with our hands, to make something, to reach out and touch someone with our fingers. At other times our hearts and ears and eyes and bodies need to think, need to lead the way, need to teach us.

There will always be a thousand should haves, some deeper and less kind than others, but we cannot stay to only think about them, the road home is so near, and there is oh so much to be done when we get there.


shelly said...

I totally relate to this, and I love your writing SOOO much! I'm glad Carl called and that you found your way home.

Annie said...

I love this. I love how it echoes the many times small miracles turn me around. Suddenly. Gently. At the perfect moment. And with so much quiet meaning.

Thanks for putting it into just the right words.

Rachel. said...

"I am lost and I am sorry, please show me the way back home."

I think I yell this to God sometimes.

and the pretty, winding roads in oregon can be too much sometimes. I once got very, very lost near the coast of oregon in those roads. my parents had just moved there and my phone had no reception and I did not know how to get home. it was so scary.