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.
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.
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.