Lost and Found

“Lost and Found.” The name might sound a little cliché, but in my heart, this poem really means something. It addresses some truths along this human journey that I believe could be genuinely helpful to those of us who are willing to hear its message.

We don’t really know what we’re doing, do we? For the most part, we’re lost…all of us. Some days might be marked with feelings of certainty, some moments may be filled with comforts. But in the end, there is no map for this terrain. There is no playbook, no assurance. In fact, I would say that our very best circumstance on this human journey is to find a way to be okay with “making it up as we go along,” to become more comfortable with uncertainty. But here is what happens, for most of us, along the Way: we become masters of hiding the pain, the confusion, and the discord that this truth brings up for us. In our desperate struggle to be found, we just keep getting more and more lost.

We hide in so many ways. We pretend that we’re certain. We craft entire lifestyles and worldviews based on making things feel more secure. We seek and spend fortunes with the sole intention of putting some ground underneath our feet. But the truth that we keep running from is that reality is actually groundless.  

Buddhist doctrine teaches us that nothing is permanent. That in this world of pain and happiness, both seem to come to us in fairly equal amounts, one always shifting into the other, not unlike the cycle of the seasons or the patterns of the weather. Our mistake, then, comes when we believe that winter will last forever; that the clouds will never pass. Or, similarly, that the happy summer and the sunny days will never end. Being lost is a place of clinging. Being found is the ability to let go.

So here is the truth: we're all lost. And being found comes in waves, cyclically, all throughout our lives. Being lost doesn't last and being found doesn't last. Greetings from the journey, then, dear friends. There's no need to cry. We're all lost and found together.

Here is a poem from Thirsty Camel that offers my very heart on the matter of being lost and found…




Lost and Found


we all feel lost

don’t we?

we hide it behind our beer bottles

and big, thick lines of cocaine

we tuck it away in the warm pools of our

dimpled-smiles and small talk –

it comes through our teeth

like a court-case of certainty

long before we realize

the folly of our claims


the truth is

we don’t know what the fuck

we’re doing

we all feel alone

and late at night

we feel the sting of loss

and cry for the pain of losing


but let me tell you a secret:

this story is not just yours

this is a tale about what it’s like to be born

and live in human skin

it is my story

it is ours –

every single being that you’ve met –

mother, father, friend, lover

knows, no matter how well-hidden,

what it is like to be lost


when i pause to realize

that we are all the same

i weep for the longing in your heart

and remember all the nights i’ve cried

only to wake with the sun

and find

that all i’d longed for

was already mine


do not cry into your pillow tonight, beloved

know that we are all lost

and remember

that you’ll be found

just as you were the last time

in this great cycle

of birth and death

that takes place

between being born

and dying


© 2015 Brandon Thompson