mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF isolation & community

Lost on Our Own Island

While the world burns with manmade disaster, all you can really do is change the channel.

We are catching up with the "Lost" 1st season on DVD. I love to fancy myself as an innovator, but I'm a slow adopter when it comes to TV series. Everyone was raving about "Lost" but I resisted, thinking it was "Survivor" meets "Godzilla." But it's way kinder and gentler than that.

A plane gone way off course crashes on a mysterious South Pacific island with 40 or so survivors. Pretty quickly they self-organize and figure out the food, water, and shelter issues. Their individual stories unfold in flashbacks. Real-time tensions and revelations about the island itself come slowly. For many of these lost souls, the island is a better place than their former lives.

It got me thinking. Don't we all live on mysterious islands? We get to a certain point in life and — through a combo of our own decisions and external circumstances — here we are, on our own special island. Bali Hai. Great chunks of our lives exist only as memories. We gaze out on the limitless ocean. Maybe it frightens us. Maybe we long for what is beyond the horizon. In either case, we have to turn around and deal with our island — ourselves (who we know too well), our little community of people (who we never quite know), the daily tasks of survival (always demanding), and the Bigger Mystery (the knowledge that Something Else is going on that we struggle to understand).


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