Excerpts from “A Field Guide to Getting Lost”

Rebecca Solnit is a favorite of mine. Her essays in “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” are really resonating with me right now during my transition from life in the desert to life in an east coast city.  Her writing captures how it feels to love the desert so much that it hurts. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from her book:

On Place and Absence

“Place, which is always spoken of as though it only counts when you’re present, possesses you in its absence, takes on another life as a sense of place, a summoning in the imagination with all the atmospheric effect and association of a powerful emotion. The places inside matter as much as the ones outside. It is as though in the way places stay with you and that you long for them they become deities…”

On Driving in The West

“… I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe.”

On Places You’ve Been

“…and I have come to long not to see new places but to return and know the old ones more deeply, to see them again.”

Here is a photo taken on a road trip through the Mojave desert, just outside of Joshua Tree, California.

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