August 16, 2016 § 1 Comment
I’ve lived in four international cities. Three of them have a wonderful central park, one of which is called Central Park.
The other two? Sydney, with its lush, sub-tropical Centennial Park and of course Berlin’s Tiergarten*.
First order of business: I’ve urinated publicly in all three.
Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. There is a secret pleasure in veering off the path, finding a wooded area unseen to one’s fellow strollers, and contributing to the local soil composition. The best moment is heading back into general population, physically at ease and feeling that you’ve gotten away with something. Small pleasures.
I got lost during this walk. My initial plan was to walk around for a while and then begin the trek back to Prenzlauerberg. However, I was soon turned around; at that point, I gave up trying to concretize direction and simply wandered, enjoying the surrounds.
What does it mean to get lost? As I felt my mind let go, ceding all struggle for the right way home, I was reminded of the essential nature of surrendering destination in order to get involved in the present.
My daughter does it effortlessly and, at this stage of her intellectual development, thankfully has no choice in the matter.
But there’s getting lost and getting lost. Let’s look at the Oxford definition:
Hang on. There is no definition for lost as an adjective. I’m amazed. It only refers to the past participle of lose.
Okay. We soldier on.
I’m not advocating a lack of direction in our lives (although there’s time for that as well). There’s a difference between being lost and being adrift.
Getting lost in creative tasks, wandering down creative alleyways, is food for the soul.
Based on observations of my bubba, it seems to be our natural inclination. Every morning, my wife and I marvel at how, post-nappy change, she needs to “get to work”. This consists of being put in her playpen and playing with her toys. But what does playing mean in this context? Incredible: simply the act of picking things up, perusing them, entertaining the notion of them, feeling them, shaking them, colliding them with other objects.
These actions could describe almost anything we do.
I wandered off the path and gave up trying to go home. Fuck it felt nice.
*Side note: the other city, Los Angeles, does have excellent hiking trails and some green spaces but, as it is technically 88 different cities, I’ll cut it a break.