On being lost: Part 1 of Many

2 thoughts on “On being lost: Part 1 of Many”

  1. Those cookies have long been symbols of our family and warmth. We still store the oatmeal in the plastic Costco dishwasher detergent container that we bought when you were a baby, and the recipe is still taped to the lid. As you and Maia grew older, it was one thing that I could still do for you, that would not interfere with your independence. I could still send them to you when you were at college. Now I can just send you the picture. It is kind of like standing outside the window of the warm cabin in the snow. You can see it, but not feel or taste the warmth.

    Gram and Grandad were over last night for dinner. We talked about “The Idea.” Grandad, as always, has an amazing memory, and remembered that Strand was the author of a previous poem that you had on your blog. Grandad commented on the sense of absence in the poem. Dad wondered if the cabin could represent a resource that we choose not to exploit (thinking of oil and other world resources). I thought of the poem as a journey toward some ideal, with warmth and satisfaction at seeing the ideal clearly, even if we can never actually arrive.

    We do miss you, a lot, but love you and support you in your heart-filled journey.


    1. Thanks. I love that poetry like strand’s can be meaningful for many people without having the same meaning for them all. I drew my interpretation from my life, but also the earlier lines of the poem, where he places the

      “…wish to possess
      Something beyond the world we knew, beyond ourselves
      Beyond our power to imagine, something nevertheless
      In which we might see ourselves…”

      within the cold and barren landscape. The cabin then contrasts with that landscape, creating an alternative to life in the cold and presenting a choice. The poem suggests that we do have the choice to enter the cabin, to live in the world that we know, that we understand, that we belong in. The choice not to is the choice to push on to new worlds not yet understood, to become what “we” never were before. I think the ambiguity of “we” really suits the poem, as it makes it both personal for the reader, having a connection with the poet, and generalizes to humanity as a whole, suggesting that we are becoming something we never were before.

      Just my ideas, though.


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