“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


getting lost: the scintilla project,day 2

tell a story about something interesting that happened to you,
but tell it in the form of an instruction manual 

how to find the arizona biosphere without even trying.
in 30 steps.

  1. fly to tucson - ignore the worst turbulence ever.  sip a coke, do crossword puzzles with black ink.
  2. rent a car.  lose it in the hotel parking lot because all the cars look the same.
  3. thank the powers that be when you find it, and thank them for the perfect late spring day.
  4. drive northeast, thinking you still know the way to sabino canyon, oasis of your teenage years.
  5. forget the way and unwittingly head into the santa catalinas, the mountains of those same years.
  6. get lost.
  7. get loster.
  8. doublecheck the gas tank and thank the powers that be for full.
  9. thank the powers that be for sunshine and those blue arizona skies full of white arizona clouds.
  10. drive slowly, just you and he and this road and no one else for hours.  savor that solitude.
  11. watch the gas tank. 
  12. look up and realize you are now on the backside of those mountains, where you, who lived there for years, can never remember being.  
  13. thank the powers that be.
  14. stop the car in the middle of the road.  do this often.  
  15. scramble up and down small hills and valleys.  do this often.
  16. thank the powers that be that you brought the medium format camera and plenty of film.
  17. take pictures.
  18. take more pictures.  
  19. drive.
  20. wander and wonder.
  21. thank the powers that be.
  22. follow the road further, now heading northwest with mt. lemmon on your left.  know for a certain fact that you have never been here before.  revel in that knowledge.
  23. talk.  sit in contented silence in the passenger seat.  talk some more.
  24. exhale.  
  25. understand deep in your soul that being lost with this man is so much more than knowing where you are with others.
  26. check the gas tank.
  27. follow the road.
  28. when you see a sign that points the way to the biosphere, laugh with surprise and delight.
  29. follow that sign.
  30. thank the powers that be.


  1. This just makes me smile. Getting lost can truly be the best of things sometimes. This is a fabulous memory.

  2. Now I'm all misty.

    Since I left Arizona I have not done much of this, driving around and seeing how lost I might need to get. I miss it, and sometimes I really crave it. This makes me crave it all the more. Certain places are better to get lost in than others, and it sounds like you found one here.

    1. being lost is one my favorite things. in arizona, the mountains guide you. here in n.e. texas, the trees obscure the horizon line and you have only your inner compass to direct you. i like it both ways. :)

  3. I love how the unexpected turns into a perfect day!

  4. that was so good! i dream of visiting the southwest, i think i would love the solitude of the middle of nowhere so much... sounds like a happy day.

  5. Love this, it makes me want to fly to Tucson and just drive around!

  6. Oh yes. This is perfect. And I fancy you got lost in your companion as much as those gorgeous hills.

  7. absolutely a great read! and a smile in thoughts of your day being lost. i sometimes get lost, not like you in BEING lost, but just lost to myself. yours is far more gratifying.

  8. I want to do this. Immediately. (Beautiful)

  9. I am so in love with this. So lovely.

  10. #25...LOVE!!!!!! Love that.

    I have such a feeling of wanderlust these days. A road trip is what I crave. It is going to happen this summer, some way, some how. Some where.


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