Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting lost (not the TV show)

There is a great song by Michael Oldfield called "To Be Free" off his Tres Lunas album. (Can you call them albums? We can't really call them CDs or LPs or Cassettes or 8-Tracks or. . .) One of the lines in the song is "And if I get lost, I really don't mind. I'm free--doin' just fine."
At one point in The Hidden Sun, one of the characters comes to a favorite garden of hers and hopes to get "lost" in it--to forget the troubles of the world for a while. It may sound strange that someone would intentionally get lost, but there is a certain freedom attached to it.
Once in a while, I'll take a different way home. Or perhaps, I'll take a road I've bypassed before just to see where it takes me. There was even a game we played when we were teenagers. My car back then was a killer Datsun 200sx--yes, that was pre-Nissan. It was a sweet ride. I had a friend that told me it looked like a spaceship--all low to the ground with its hatchback fitted with sun blind things (neither my wife nor I could recall the name). It also had a digital clock that showed the seconds!
We would get into my car, and we would drive until we came to a stop light or stop sign. If we stopped when the seconds were odd, we would turn left. If the seconds were even, we would go right. For zero? That meant to go straight--if we could.
This game led us to some pretty strange places. Keep in mind, this was in Utah Valley--a pretty darn safe place to live. There was one night it took us into Provo, up against the mountains. We found ourselves driving down this back alley behind some pretty big houses. On one of the walls behind one of these houses was an old, stone wall. In the stone, there were shapes of crosses--the kind you would see on a Crusader's shield or Knight's crest. It was kinda freaky. This was about the same time the third Indiana Jones movie had come out, so we let our imaginations run wild and claimed we found where they buried the knights who were protecting the Holy Grail.
To this day, if I need to clear my head, or look for inspiration for the next section of whatever project I'm working on, I'll go try and get lost. Granted, more often than not, after I've found that peace or inspiration, I'll have to pull out my map to find my way home.

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