Being 3

It has taken me some while and some guidance from Rebecca Solnit, to realise that I am between selves, lost.  It is not a scary lost, because life functions much as it always did, and, I suspect will continue to do so, once I am found, but lost in thought, in direction.

My granddaughter, Mabli wanted to play hide and seek this weekend.  We curled up under the blanket waiting to be found, lost in the moment that only a small child can find with such ease, lost by virtue of needing to be found.



I have a need to find the child again, for she is lost to me.  She alone knows how to make those marks that only mean something to her, but are so full of passion and intention.  As Solnit says writing of Virginia Woolf, ‘getting lost is not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.’1

I can remember being 3.  I have that memory, the time, the place, not an image in my hand.  I felt safe, the world was a good place, night followed ‘shiny’ day.  As the layers of ‘self ‘ have been added over the years, the essence of me has been buried, lost.  Solnit challenges ‘“How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?” (Plato)

The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration- how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory, about becoming someone else?”’2

The MA is transformative.  Being lost is a necessary part of that process.  ‘…to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender…’. 3

1  Solnit, R. (2006). A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Edinburgh: Canongate Books.

2  ibid

3  ibid


Author: susanmilleruk

Watercolour painter living, working and loving Hastings and St Leonards on Sea. MA in Fine Art.

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