Though it seem strange to tell that I enjoyed the experience, I got lost yesterday. People are apt to take it the wrong way if you say, Get lost, but if you can arrange to do so in a way which is not worrisome, permit me to recommend the exercise without reservation.
I had dropped Maria and Irina off, and started driving back home, in a part of the state no great distance from home (and yet, not particularly familiar to me), and I took a wrong turn. It was a turn I knew might be mistaken, but I took the turn not caring. (The absence of care was not reckless, only low-level adventurous.) It may be the very same wrong turn I may have taken eight years ago, who knows?
I had, not all day, but certainly ample time. I needed to get back to town to pick up a fellow musician for a concert that afternoon, but I was not going to get lost to any degree as to strain our timeline. And even if I had taken the most direct route home, there would not have been so much time to allow me to get anything productive accomplished. It was a relaxed (if not altogether recreational) time. I was negotiating a half- (or quarter-) familiar maze, and I didn’t care about any cheese at the goal.
I had been lost in a much more concerning way this past summer. As a result of a surprising and unpleasant event, I went from a state of musical productivity, and keen readiness to pursue the next task, to a condition of apparent incapacity for any creative work, for about five weeks. It was a very strange time.
Didn’t know why I couldn’t work; nor did I know what it would take to get back to work. In spite of the obvious annoyance of knowing myself to be in such a condition, I knew it wasn’t going to last forever.
In a way, getting lost driving yesterday was a relaxing ritual shadow of the creative abyss I experienced in the summer. The inability to compose was vexatious, and as I was driving yesterday, momentarily unsure of the way home, I understand how completely free of vexation this situation was. Probably that is the closest I can come to explaining why I actually enjoyed being lost yesterday.
There is an outdoorsy recreation, a game of chess in which there are human ‘gamepieces’, who move from square to square as directed by the actual players. If you’re a piece (a rook, a bishop) you take part in the game, and yet none of the responsibility for the game’s outcome rests on your shoulders. That’s not a great analogy (for I was driving, and I got lost as a result of my own mis-navigation), but it does give some idea of the tone in which I lost my way yesterday.
If you can get lost like that, embrace the wrong turn.