A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

I read A Field Guide to Getting Lost while travelling in Ecuador, and it really is a perfect book to gift solo-travelling or heart-broken loved ones.

Solnit maps together lessons in loss from history, art, literature, nature, and her own life. She takes us on a journey to the colour blue, to Alfred Hitchcocks’ Vertigo, to endangered and returning species, to ex-lovers, to cartography, to The Clash, to lost explorers from a bygone age… I could go on. 🙃 Carlsberg don’t do rambling, but if they did it would probably look a lot like A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit. I surrendered myself to this beautiful rambling, not knowing where it would take me next, and it eventually dawned on me how well this fitted in with the book’s subject matter.

Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.

I finished with a greater appreciation of the role loss plays in the world, as well as what can be gained from it.

Solnit’s writing is absolute poetry. I found myself re-reading many sections in order to fully take them in and there’s many I’d like to quote from. Like a true Beyoncé stan, I’ll sign off with a section from the book that the Queen herself posted after the birth of Blue Ivy:

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the end blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in the water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue.

The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of the land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.

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