The question then is how to get lost. Never to get lost is is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognito in between lies a life of discovery.*
One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. […] Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want, too. If we never find our experience described in poetry or stories, we assume that our experience is insignificant.
(Ursula Le Guin)
Getting lost is how we get to find ourselves and what we want to bring into the lives of others. These two things always go together:
It’s a story as old as time: you never maximise your true potential until you stop making it just about you.^
In our conversations – with ourselves, with others – we create our personal and social stories, and it is our stories that make it possible to explore more than we know. Getting lost isn’t something that only happens miles from here, it only lies outside where we are in this moment, even in the next conversation we will have with ourselves or with others:
there is a sweet spot, between the known and the unknown, where originality happens; the key is to be able to linger without panicking.^^
We cannot explore more without getting lost, as Aaron Sachs reminds us it comes with the intention:
Explorers […] were always lost, because they’d never been to the places before. They never expected to know where they were.*^
Welcome to the story room.
(*From Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.)
(**Ursula Le Guin, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Ursula K. Le Guin on Art, Storytelling, and the Power of Language to Transform and Redeem.)
(^From gapingvoid’s blog: It’s the flame that matters, not the carrier.)
(^^From Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc..)
(*^Aaron Sachs, quoted in Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.)