Chicago Notes, 1. Lost

Everybody’s lost – I’m not pretending I’m not…*

Lostness: as the physical manifestation of a state of feeling lost. Just like dropping things in the kitchen, bumping into stuff – B. says this is when I’m not truly grounded, centred. Some days I’m terrible with it.

Navigationally-speaking, I am, admittedly, hopeless. I am thorough in my application to processes, agreements, briefs; to notes, to performance of work, trusting of my creative intuition (in most disciplines), precisely because of how bad I am with maps. It’s not the comedy male thing. I’m the first to ask for directions, for the kindness of locals. I am as inept at folding maps as I am at slicing onions, but that’s not this. Maps and their direction do not sink in or take hold. Drawing a version of my own helps, though there are necessary leaps of faith, occasionally rivers. Planning car journeys fitfully way in advance. I have copings. Maps are instantly unseen, like passcodes.

IMG_2360Chicago – parts of the northern districts – hosts this feeling of lostness – of being defeated despite the effort put in. Lost, that is to say, as the opposite of finding – not being lost, like waifs in fairy tales. It’s easy to give in to this as, to frame it as, something personal – a vindictive world.  Victim, or life’s adventurer – which of the two are you?* Milan Kundera’s ‘Litost’ pops up (look it up!)

An aggressive confrontation (money) is brought in as a devious plot-twist. The downtown encounter has a disproportionate effect on my state, compounding a sense of false preparedness. Fuck-you Fails on my simply getting around. As if (I do make time to find funny) I could sensibly think to switch – at the flick of one – from my muffled routines to the mad hot soup of Chicago – I mean without this lostness, somehow.

And yet there is inspiration everywhere.

*between there and this, Morrissey at Manchester.



About Stevie Mitchell

I come from a long line of cartoons and beer. I was once peed on by a tiger. Hoping the resultant super-powers are yet to come, cos if these are they, then, grrrr....
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