Putting together this issue, we spoke about the concept of being Lost, since the idea is universally appealing to travelers (see the concept of “lost paradise”; see the book Lost Horizon; think of El Dorado, or Atlantis, or any number of fabled lost civilizations). But instead, we ended up tackling the idea from a number of different angles, sometimes serendipitously.
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As part of an introduction to a collection of difﬁcult and beautiful poems, a poet wrote about bewilderment, and how it is essentially a mystical experience. Literally, to be bewildered is to be lost in the wilderness, to be left where there is nothing familiar, to be cast into the strange.
Putting together this issue, we spoke about the concept of being Lost, since the idea is universally appealing to travelers(see the concept of “lost paradise”; see the book Lost Horizon; think of El Dorado, or Atlantis, or any number of fabled lost civilizations). But instead we ended up tackling the idea from a number of different angles, sometimes serendipitously. Nina Unlay’s trip to get a tattoo from Whang-Od was supposed to be fairly straightforward, but events conspired to bewilder her. Having to abandon her trip not even halfway, the journey turned out to be far more interesting. Instead of an overland trip, she had to confront an idea instead: How is it, she asks, that Whang-Od is more real as a concept than ﬂesh-and-blood reality to most of us? Why do so many people feel a familiarity with her, why do we feel like we own her?
In another story, we visit Maguindanao, a province lost to popular consciousness, and perhaps lost to the rest of the country in terms of politics, too. Throw back the covers, we are urged, and see how its complex, proud (and sometimes violent) history can shape both its people and its foodways.
The centerpiece of this issue, of course, is the story of the second GRID Expedition, which we have also released as a series of videos. If last year’s Expedition sought to showcase the Cordilleras and the incredible athletes on its trails, this year we’ve decided to go deeper, ﬁguratively and literally. Going to the Tañon Strait, we take a hard look at the many threats facing the waters here and elsewhere—but more importantly, we met the people who are making a difference in humanity’s ﬁght for survival. “Landwalkers,” one of our Expedition crew members would call us jokingly, poking fun at our laughable tendency to think that the only things worth anything happen on dry land. But no: to go underwater is to be thrust into an alien environment—perhaps the most bewildering thing of all.
The thing about being well and truly lost is that, in this state of utter bewilderment, our minds make space: for wonder, for awe, for all possibilities. In bewilderment, we can make space for hope.