Lost and Found 11 / One Year In

One year into this strange new world…

I lost $100,000 in income and savings; I found untold riches in human compassion and understanding.

I lost my old ocean dog; I found two old river dogs; I found the oldest dying dog story of all time. (Hint: The Odyssey.)

I lost freedom of movement, expression and association; I keep finding ways to reinvent them. People have been helping me reinvent them.

I lost all love for Astoria; I found a new way to perceive it that might change everything. That perception derived from recognizing Astoria as a the final collection point for one of the great abused and cursed watersheds of the world. (Hint: Celilo Falls, fish hatcheries and Hanford.)

I lost all hope for future professional accomplishment; I found that I would have to redefine it, out of the limelight, where I’ll never venture again.

I lost my physical fitness; I found it with new, improved strength.

I lost fear; I found fortitude.

I lost a facade; I found a foundation.

I lost my place on people’s lists—crossed off; I found my way on to new lists, penciled down by others. Oh, to be added to new lists(I heartily recommend it), even a list of one! (Good band name; List of One.)

I lost everything important; I found my previous identification of importance utterly banal.

I lost sight of myself in the dark after the relegation to The Registry; I found watching The Great Escape taught me how to tunnel to light and freedom.

I lost the feisty younger sister I never had; I found a taciturn shaman for a new brother.

I lost belief in the definition of the word “salient,” as in salient facts; I found truth whenever I came face-to-face with characters in classic world literature and they were talking to me like Robert De Niro talking to the mirror in Taxi Driver. I couldn’t answer.

I lost my aversion to semi-colons; I found they provide a certain simple eloquence.

I lost most of my home decor; I found a replacement in beaverwood.

I lost faith in music; I found records that restored it.

I lost my theme song; I may have found a new one. (Hint: a minor Stones hit in the 80s.)

I lost my personal metaphor; I found a new one. (Hint: Jack Kramer Autograph.)

I lost the interpreter of my aesthetic dreams with her coat of many colors and groovy fonts; I found an old tactile friend—hello cut and paste!

I lost truck with the notion of second chances; I found it as flimsy a concept as an inflatable outdoor snowman flattened by a Christmas storm.

I lost all faith in the Bill of Rights; it’s never coming back.

I lost my idealized version of romantic love; I await finding a new practical one.

I lost what the Matt Kramer Memorial in Oswald West State Park (pictured here) originally meant to me; I revisited this most sacred spot in Oregon journalism and rediscovered it. (Hint: the word “incisive.”)

I lost a certain voice as a writer; I found the greatest story of my life, or should I say, it found me. It ran me over.

I never lost appreciation for the magic of building driftwood forts.