Get Lost

Image & Writing Exercise
That’s right, for one entire day – if possible – get lost. But think about what it means to be lost, not just literally but also figuratively or metaphorically.

You don’t need to travel very far, maybe not even at all. Think about ways to get lost on your own street or in your own neighborhood.

  • Walk exactly one mile from your front door. Repeat, but walk in a different direction each time.
  • Take a bus towards the edge of town.
  • Drive 30 minutes in one direction.
  • Explore a strange building, open unlocked doors (OK, don’t do anything stupid, dangerous, or illegal).
  • Hang out at the train station or a hospital.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Assume a fictitious identity.
  • Take a vow of silence.

Do you get the idea? Getting lost doesn’t have to only be about the physical world, it can also be a psychic experience. It can be about geography, but it can also be about identity.

Be sure to document your journey. Take lots of pictures. Make lots of notes.

Once you are back on familiar territory, review and reflect. Read over your notes. Look at your pictures and pull out ten or so that you find particularly interesting or mysterious. Start writing.

  • What was your plan and how did you formulate it?
  • Did you really get lost?
  • Was there a particular moment when you realized you were in unfamiliar territory? Describe your emotions, were you fearful or excited? Did your behavior change, do you become a different person once you leave the familiar?
  • Did your picture taking habits change in any way, did you ‘see’ differently?
  • Were there any surprises or happy accidents?
    Would you do this again?

Go back to the ten or so pictures you set aside and make a list of keywords that you associate with these images. How does this list compare with your earlier keyword exercises? Is it basically the same vocabulary, or are there new terms in this grouping?

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