Lost and Found: Moments in Time

You know how when you’re gone for a time, and possibly only for a week, and still you come home to the place you’ve known forever but then for a moment, that brief flash, you can’t immediately locate even the possessions that you use most often and that have been been kept in the same place for years (!!!)?

At first it’s a little disorienting and maybe fleetingly irritating, but in the end, isn’t it really pretty cool to know that only a few days of new input can shift your view, your rote, your same-old so quickly and so completely as to momentarily obliterate even what you know best?

It all comes back of course. But suppose we make the conscious decision not to rush back to what we know, but instead to embrace the shake-up and simply reinvent, quite spontaneously? I’m not talking drastic life changes, but where’s the harm in trying on a new hat now and then?

I’m quick to claim that I’m very much my own person — who I am is who I am, and re-invention seems — well, why? But the truth is that, like most of us, I’ve reinvented many, many times — often quite spontaneously and totally without prior consideration. Each time it was a seamless transition to a place I was meant to be.

I found a good hearing aid and started having conversations. With people. A lot. I was 49, and after 49 years of smiling and trying to fit into various boxes, I was suddenly and rather effortlessly a part of the world.  I walked past a trashed little space on a good street with a “for rent” sign and immediately knew it was waiting for me to reinvent as an art studio. I had no experience setting up or running an art studio, but it worked and I did it with joy for 13 years. On a whim. I just knew.

We all know. We don’t all act.

Marcel Proust (otherwise known as Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust) wrote a monumental seven volume novel over a period of 14 years with the distinction of having written the longest novel in the world. If you’re wondering, it’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time), filled with a whopping 1,267,069 words and twice as robust as War and Peace. But maybe that’s to be expected in a man with six flowery names, the first of which is Valentin. Considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, I’m not about to question his judgement.

But I wonder … did he plan this abrupt life alteration, or did it just appear to him and he grabbed it?

I’m beginning to believe that the life we meticulously plan is rarely our true life. I’m beginning to believe that we don’t give ourselves enough credit — we don’t aspire past what we consider our limits; we don’t reach as far as our arms were meant to. We barely know ourselves.

So take the trip, physically or metaphorically but preferably alone, and see where it leads you. Pretty sure you’ll be surprised. And you’ll be home. (Maybe in Paris)

 

 
 
 
 

7 thoughts on “Lost and Found: Moments in Time

  1. I feel this one distinctly. There is nothing like driving, alone, save for a cat to talk to.. To be alone and be able to do none of the distracting chores , hobbies and general busy work that keep us from knowing ourselves.

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  2. As you say, what’s the big deal with a little change? I agree; and I too have found that there can be a short retraining necessary when you come back to normal. My biggest problem is the changes that don’t return to a point of past reference. Since selling my business, I have the hardest time finding tools that I can easily picture on the shelves or in the closets where they resided, ready for use, over the past 30 years. Unfortunately, I no longer own those storage areas and those tools are now in areas, that probably seemed logical when I moved them, but never seem intuitive when I am trying to find them! Hopefully, over the next few years, I will develop a new mental map of their present locations, and even more important, I will retain my capacity to remember at all!

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    • I’m guessing we both need to learn to makes lists! It’s funny that we can bemoan how much harder things have gotten, but we remain stubbornly unwilling to take the easy road and just write it down. Or in other words, sometimes it’s hard because we make it hard.

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    • I’m guessing we both need to learn to makes lists! It’s funny that we can bemoan how much harder things have gotten, but we remain stubbornly unwilling to take the easy road and just write it down. Or in other words, sometimes it’s hard because we make it hard.

      Like

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