‘Not all those who wander are lost.’
– From All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter by J.R.R. Tolkein –
I am not lost. I find my way as I wander. Sometimes I move in circles. Sometimes I keep a straight line till I reach a dead end. I move in circles more than I keep a straight line. These circles never seem endless to me. I know they lead me to my destination even though I don’t know where I’m going.
I am not lost. I can find my way back to where I was. The past is no place to be as the future beckons. Maybe the future is not a destination. Maybe these wanderings are the destination. Who knows? God. I can’t see him. So I can’t talk to him and ask him without feeling that I’m talking to myself. Maybe he speaks. I don’t know. There are many voices in my head. I am not sure which is mine. I don’t listen to the voices. I listen to my heart. Does my heart speak or feel or both? I choose to think that the heart only feels, which means in a strict sense, I can’t listen to my heart. I don’t even know where my heart is. Not the heart that pumps blood. The heart that loves, hates, envies, breaks, hopes, lusts, gives up… where is it?
I find myself looking for something. It would help if I knew what I was looking for. Maybe I won’t look so lost. Knowledge tells me to know what I’m looking for and end this seemingly endless wandering because then, I would know where to look. Wisdom tells me to search without knowing, to enjoy searching, to find peace in the search. Wisdom tells me that knowing and finding will not bring me the happiness I think it will. Wisdom tells me that finding will leave me empty and yearning for more. That explains the circles, the straight line and the dead end.
I have found many things. Those I’ve kept are not what I am looking for. They look good to have so I kept them. I get tired of searching and feel lost sometimes. Those times, I find it healing to sit and watch life pass by rapidly, creating a fictitious reality that I am frozen in time. The ephemeral nature of this reality leaves me disillusioned as I emerge from my fantasy. I confuse imagination with reality many times. For me there is no difference because what I have imagined, I have become. What I am afraid to imagine, I have become. What I have never imagined, I have also become. So where is the line? That non-existent dividing line that tells us to stop dreaming and face reality? That line will exist only if we choose to see both worlds as distinct entities. That would create a problem of crossing from one divide to another; but if we see them as one, then we can dwell in the same place in peace, I think?
I am not lost. I am just trying to find my way in this simple and complex maze of life. I stumble frequently and stay down more times than I rise. When I rise, I rise, only to stumble again. I question the logic of rising, when I know I am sure to stumble, especially against the same stone. Why should I rise when the same stone will trip me again? It will be logical to rise only if I am guaranteed that I will not stumble against the same stone each time. He who is down, worries not about falling. Unfortunately, my heart won’t stop hoping, so I will rise one more time.
I am not lost but these circles are making me dizzy. I look up and the clouds above are also circling. I close my eyes and my thoughts circle too. Who am I to complain? Even the earth spins in endless circles. If the earth is truly spherical, there should come a time when some of us will fall off, especially those living on the edge. But we would rather cave in and be covered in sand till we become sand ourselves. If we could come back from being sand, that would be the ultimate circle, then maybe these circles would be worth it, but becoming sand is the inevitable end for all of us. And now I am frightened by the thought that even as sand, we cannot escape these circles because the earth, of which we have become a part of, is destined to spin endlessly.
I see others wandering too, but I will not conclude that they are lost because I wander too but I’m not lost. I think those who are lost are those who are not wandering. I can’t explain why it is so important to me to keep telling myself that I am not lost. Maybe I am lost but will not accept that fact because it means I have failed in a life defining quest. Maybe if I accept that I am lost, then I will know that I should look for someone to help me find my way. But if it is my way, why should someone help me find it? I am not convinced that we all have the same way we should go. If that were the case, no one will be lost; but we all seem to be lost.
I will take solace in the fact that I am not lost, just wandering. I will take solace in the fact that I am not the only one who is wandering. Or am I?