It started with a feeling.

It led to a word.


It led me to look for a beautiful book, The Lost Words.

I couldn’t remember where I put it.

I looked everywhere.

It’s lost.

Ah. A theme.

Maybe it’s the dreary January dusk, or the drizzle, or Monday.

Maybe it’s the news. Lost lives.

Maybe it’s growing older and being reminded of things I loved long ago, like koalas, because of a book my grandmother read to me, and wondering how many koalas are left in Australia now. Wondering if there are enough eucalyptus trees left in that charred landscape to keep them alive.

Maybe it’s everything.

So much is lost.

I am not lost.

Just caught in layers of lost, like being wrapped round and round with invisible tulle.

It’s there.

I feel it.


That’s what sent me searching for The Lost Words as reading it suited my mood. The book is a glorious creation based on words that are disappearing from the dictionary. Words about the natural world that children don’t know anymore. Lyrical verse, majestic illustrations, making something beautiful of something lost . . . it was calling me to reread it. The very thing I needed.

But I can’t find it or remember where I last left it.

It’s really lost.

Naturally that beckoned lost associations. Lost people, lost friends, lost dogs, lost moments, lost time, lost things. Lost opportunities. Lost relationships, lost trust. Lost vision, especially in the educational world of late. Lost sense, lost direction. Lost ideas that I didn’t write down (although I am better about it now than I used to be). Lost dreams, so vivid and clear — what great stories they would make! — disintegrating as I wake, alas. I can’t seem to hold onto the dream and wake up; too often I am left with odd fragments.

But even in my tulle-swathed, piece-y malaise, never lost hope. No, not that. Never lost faith. Never lost love, because, if it’s love, it’s there forever.

I lost interest in reading tonight. So, I write.

Never lost words, not for me. Not yet. They find me, somehow.

And tomorrow I’ll find that book.

Photo: Lost. gwenole camus. CC BY-SA

14 thoughts on “Lost

  1. In my house full of books, I’ve shared that pain of looking for a particular tome and not finding it! Your sense of loss-but-not-lost really hit home for me, as these past few months have been filled with the loss of loved ones of friends all around me, while my family remains intact at the moment.
    I’m glad the words found you today. Will you be participating in the SOL challenge this year? I was on the fence, but Claire Landrigan’s post today convinced me to give it another go.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Funny how we crave a book for its particular “flavor” or for the shot only that book can give… I had almost decided to NOT participate in the March challenge, although it has grown me as a writer and immersed me in this invaluable network of writer-friends. I pour myself into each post and pore over it to make it as good as I can before I let it go… so I sacrifice sleep, activities, lots of things to do it. It’s incredibly fulfilling but knowing that I need and want to push far beyond my blog this year gives me pause; how can I do ALL of this writing? I’ve even wondered if I should just take a sabbatical from the blog to do other writing… now, however, I am, like you, reconsidering! Thank you, Chris. Your words are always full of good guidance.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have The Lost Words beside my desk and it is a reminder of the beauty; your post is so full of beauty and my heart squeezed a bit when half-way through I realized the larger loss the world feels. And then you bring it back to never losing despite the loss – absolutely brilliant writing and an important message. Thank you, Fran.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved this line, “But even in my tulle-swathed, piece-y malaise, never lost hope,” and all of the images the words invoked in my head. Your writing always has a way of cocooning us in the beauty of language. I’m so glad you wrote, even though you didn’t read!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for these words, Stacey. I am glad I wrote when I didn’t feel like writing at all. I really only wanted the “salve” of that book. If it hadn’t been lost … would I have written? Sometimes we must write not to save, but to salve, ourselves. Grateful to know those lines touched you.


  4. Fran, your words, “Just caught in layers of lost, like being wrapped round and round with invisible tulle,” are so genuine and beautiful. Sometimes writing is pure joy that fills all our spaces and wraps us tightly. The intensity of the experience pushes us to polish the apple before letting it go. I feel that but you stated it in your comment so that it is a real thought. May you find peace with your decision to engage in the March Slice of Life Challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have not lost Lost Words. A friend loaned it to me, and so it’s in my living room waiting. Waiting to be shared. I could do a rambling word gathering with waiting. I am trying to do #100daysofnotebooking with my students and wouldn’t that book be a great prompter? Thanks for the reminder that it’s waiting.
    Waiting to be found.
    Waiting to be shared.
    Waiting to be loved.

    Liked by 1 person

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