On finding lost things.
The children dig their hands deep into the mud of the creek, looking for gems. They find rocks with sparkling edges, regular rocks, clumps of clay. They splash and laugh and worry about bugs, snakes. Minnows spiral around their ankles. A frog delights, and cat tails. A little girl trips over a rock, reaches down and lifts an amethyst, raw purple in the sun.
Opening a trunk in my mother’s attic, I find a dress I wore when I was 17. I slip it on and remember the feel of it against my skin, satiny. I turn in the mirror and find glimpses of myself, young, miserable, beautiful.
In her dreams, she finds hidden rooms in her house. A kitchen in the basement she never knew she had, stocked with someone else’s pots and pans. Couches, porticoes, hallways that lead to more and more undiscovered rooms. She finds an aquarium, teeming with life. It’s sustained itself in spite of being forgotten – created its own closed system, overgrown fish with luminous eyes. Plants climbing from the top and spilling over.
Isn’t it curious how lost items seem to disappear completely? How many times has something fallen off a couch or table and never been seen again? When searching for a lost item, people waste time looking in the most obvious places. If it were there, you would have already found it.
When the second baby came, I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough love. I’d expended all the love I had on the first – who I loved entirely. My heart was brimful, and there couldn’t be another vein to tap. But then there was. There was a whole, new well of love, springing eternal from the depths. There is never an end.
The lost object is near animals or things kept for animals. Be careful not to blame someone else. Someone you do not like will bring it to you. Somebody young has it, but they may not realize it. It will be returned back to you as a gift. Look for it in the room you spend the most time in during your waking hours. This object is close to a large body of water. It’s somewhere safe, and you will find it when you are looking for something else. Don’t look for it right now. The lost object is permanently gone. Without being consciously aware of it, losing it was something you desired.
Digging and bagging a pile of leaves, accumulated through forgotten years. Beneath it,
rich soil, composted from the piling and heat, the wet neglect of several seasons. There were rocks where once someone had bordered a lovingly tended bed of flowers. Worms, happily feeding on the decay, fecund.
Your day-to-day experience is a carefully controlled hallucination, constrained by the world and your body but ultimately constructed by your brain. All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love. I wanted to know you. It was a complex, neurobiological phenomenon involving oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and serotonergic signaling in the brain.