“Getting lost was 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.”
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost
The Ayurvedic tradition in India teaches us that “We are not meant to travel faster than on horseback.” I have recently adopted a horse and often go horseback riding in a picturesque ranch between green hills, away from the crowded city. While peacefully enjoying a mild autumn day, my horse noticed another rider on a white stallion at the other end of the road and started to neigh, becoming restless and panicked as soon as the two disappeared into the woods. My riding instructor explained to me then that despite their intelligence, horses have a hard time understanding why their peers appear out of nowhere and disappear all of a sudden into the distance. The disappearing part, apparently, brings them the terror of being forever lost. Under the thin crust of a scientifically explained disorientation, I could easily identify the fear of losing control – which may be correlated to our own relationship with the concept of “lost” and the duality which lies in it.
I recognized my own contrasting desire to be lost and found, whenever I adventure myself, under the new horizons without a map, a “peer” who could easily disappear into the woods or even a dead-end to the journey.
During my first trip around the world, something clicked inside and changed the way I perceived the world around me forever. Beginning with the taste of ice cream, understanding a culture through the tactile senses, leading up to rediscovering and losing myself by means of different artistic movements.
I know now that traveling has been one of my most important teachers.
- I first understood the value of preserving the history and the cultural identity in Turkey, while having a very strong deja-vu on the perfectly-preserved Roman marble streets of Ephesus.
- I was then oscillating between the claustrophobia caused by artificial glamor and the need to set my feet on solid ground, while always wandering between the red desert, Oman Mountains and crowded new cities in the United Emirates.
- I rediscovered my need for sophistication along the Seine, my need for freedom along the Rhine. I literarily got lost and found in the art cradle of Rome – where the ice cream was devastating to my senses and where I could have lost my wishes in the hundreds of secret fountains, my mind in the antique museums, my steps on the streets’ screaming art.
- I absorbed the meaning of unity in Gibraltar, where the seas meet the ocean.
- I saw acceptance in the south of Spain, where the Moorish architecture and exotic cultural nuances are perfectly integrated and fit the society needs. I never felt as free among the creative arts steaming from every corner of this region.
- I understood fear as well as the effervescence of the intertwining beliefs in Israel.
- And I felt forgiveness while learning how to pray in Agapia Monastery hidden in Romania’s mountains.
Ending my trip in Barcelona, I thought it was not by coincidence that the breathtaking Sagrada Familia cathedral is not finished after 150 years of continuous work-in-progress. As I believe that art has always left a door open for the flush of unknown and has left the vision of where we ourselves come from and where we will go. These two faces of the same coin sometimes meet in these initiating journeys around the world.