Aging & Dying, Bicycles, Life of Carmen

Lost: my precious thing

Somewhere between Fort Rodd Hill and the Tsawous rez where I camped for the night, my little black notebook disappeared. All my notes from the past year at Upaya and beyond, my lists, contacts, ideas, drawings, quotes, maps, jokes. The archive of my experience, the fresh tracks of my mind. The one item most precious to me: fallen away. Taken by the road.

Maybe it fell out of my pannier as I scrabbled for some  sunscreen. Was run over by a car, bloated by rain, shredded by a lawnmower, swept up by a worker in a safety vest, tossed into a dumpster. There is a hole in my memory like the tip of my left thumb where i cut deep with an exacto knife, dead to the touch. The loss has made it hard for me to write.

On the first page was a plea, return this book PLEASE, and my email and phone number. No one has called. Words painted on the cover in a silver spiral: gate gate paragate parasumgate – gone, gone, gone beyond, gone beyond beyond. When i remembered that, it made me laugh.

So I got a new notebook. The first thing i scrawled in purple ink on page one: START AGAIN.

I think now that i will write ‘gate gate’ on all my precious things. On my keys, my wallet, my computer, my bike. Tattoo it over my heart. And then when they are stolen or broken or lost I will grieve, and then laugh, and start again.



2 Comments on “Lost: my precious thing

  1. This is a sweet post. Sorry you lost your book … but hey, all that stuff was gone already anyway. I had fun burning years of journals in a giant bonfire a few years ago. I still get twinges of missing them. And then i turn to look forward.

  2. The thing is that when i lost the book what came to my mind, and what i kept repeating to myself, was that is was all inside me. That i had in fact internalized all of that, in the apprehending and the writing down, and that nothing was really lost. I did not entirely believe that was true – i was still feeling the loss. But I kept saying that it could be so.

    And then 7 mos. later when i finally got the book back, i ran my fingers over its nubbly cover and opened it at random, and realized that it was actually true. Everything in that book i knew, it was really all inside me, not far below the surface even if i could not have repeated it word for word.

    And i wondered what I had been so upset about. Funny.

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