Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Paper Bag

I was standing in the clearing, wearing my purple Camp Morning Star sweatshirt, my neon-yellow compass in my hand. 

Girls were milling about. 

All of us had the same goal: Get the candy.

Next to me, my partner was staring at her compass, and looking at the sheet of paper in her hand, trying to work out coordinates. 

I had no idea what was going on. I had fiddled with my compass unsuccessfully, so I stared vacantly into the treeline, thinking about the candy, content to let Anne figure out where we were supposed to go. 

It appeared that the other girls were having some kind of success because they were going from different points in the large clearing with determination, and ultimately would end up where the JCLs were standing, and after much cheering, would run off with their candy bars to the trading post, or to the craft cabin. 

Anne watched the girls zig-zag intently, and then made a decision. 

"Let's just go to the JCLs. We know that's where we're supposed to end up." 

My moral sensibilities tumbled down the mountain they had been hiking, and I stared wide-eyed at Anne.

"We can't do that! That's cheating!"

Anne narrowed her eyes.

"Watch me." 

I trailed after her, certain we would get caught. 

"Hi! We did it!" Anne chirped as we met up with the JCLs. I stood beside her, certain that they had seen us make a beeline from the middle of the field, and had obviously not taken the route honestly. They didn't say anything, but smiled and handed us the candy bars. 

"Yay," I non-exclaimed blandly. 

Our deception didn't seem to effect Anne. She had had enough after wandering through the clearing not getting anywhere for 30 minutes. She ate her candy bar like she had run the Boy Scouts' 50-miler hike and had won. 

It wasn't her fault that we couldn't figure it out. Besides the fact that our leaders constantly were getting us lost in the New Mexico wilderness and obviously couldn't teach us about using a compass properly, I had always seemed to have a swirling mist of lostness about me. 

I was two. I got lost, and was mysteriously returned.

I was three. I got lost, and was returned by a helpful, but according to Mom, judgmental good Samaritan. 

I was 18. I got lost. While driving. And I honestly don't know how I ever got to my final destination (This was before cellphones.)

I was 20. I got lost on my way to a friend's house (about 5 miles from my house), but the car must have had KITT powers because I somehow made it to her house, a complete mess, and tear-stained. 

I STILL get lost on my way to my brother's house in Salt Lake...

All growing up, God was sending angels to put me back in my house. I couldn't seem to stay where I was supposed to. 

It was a full-time job. 

I would often wonder when I was lost what the whooshing sound was, and on reflection it was probably concourses of angels sighing in exasperation. 

Then God sent Jeremy. 

And the angels rejoiced. I was Jeremy's problem now. 

So, it often happens that I can be heard to say, "Where do I go? Where is the turn off? Which road to we take? Which side street?? IS IT COMING UP? DO I NEED TO TURN??????" and Jeremy laughs, and says, "You would get lost in a paper bag."

Yup. And I probably have. 

The angels wiped my memory. 

1 comment:

Katscratchme said...

I'm somewhere in the middle.. not quite as lost as you and not quite the human map that Ben is... I think I'm okay with that... mostly.

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