Sunday, 12 January 2014

I am wondering about the possibility of

getting "lost". According to someone I know this is how you find new things. Is that getting lost or is it exploring? I don't know. Perhaps it is both things.
I have often thought this would be fun - if you could do it with relative safety. (I know I am a wimp about such things. Danger does not appeal to me. It does not give me an adrenalin rush.)
There was someone I once knew who, each weekend, would venture out from his room in his hall of residence in London. He would take the underground to a new stop and then walk for several hours. All it cost him was his fare.
He was a solitary sort of person who was doing his doctorate in some obscure scientific field which I did not understand. I doubt anyone else did either. Perhaps that is one reason why he was so solitary.
He probably saw more of London than many of the locals. He saw things that many people must have forgotten about - even if they passed them every day. I showed him the little cemetery tucked behind the research unit I was attached to for a while. It was not the sort of thing you would normally find - even on a "getting lost" sort of walk. He photographed it.
I had to visit a lot of schools in and around London so I "explored" (and sometimes managed to get lost) in other ways. I probably saw places other people never really saw too. There must have been places people went past each day without even noticing. I remember a lovely garden that was probably took up about as much space as a narrow terrace house. There was a little green hut at the far end - presumably for gardening tools - and a seat under a tree. I was curious enough to want to read the inscription on the seat. It just said something like, "Please enjoy sitting on me and leave me as you found me." Who looked after it? I still wonder who owned the eleven motorbikes I counted crammed next to each other on the paved area outside a house in Brixton. And who owned the house covered in a maritime themed mosaic?
I will never know these things. Is finding them exploring or getting lost? Is there a difference?
Does it matter as long as I go on finding things - and being interested in them?

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