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Riles Reads: A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, exploring relationship to place, people, and self

In Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, we explore what it means to be lost, why we might do it, and how it contributes to our personal growth as humans. That's why this is a pick for the Soft Heart Book Club, an online leftist book club where we read books to inspire our exploration into how to be better humans. 

Lose the whole world, get lost in it, and find your soul - quote from A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

Getting lost doesn't come so easily to us as humans. We're often afraid of the unknown and would rather stay in the area we're already comfortable with. And with modern tools like Google Maps to keep us company, we're more able than ever to keep the unknown at bay. But if we never let ourselves get lost, will we ever learn what it means to be found?

Part of the journey of being human is finding ourselves. So we must allow ourselves to realize how lost we are before we can even start the journey of finding. This can be getting lost in place (like putting down Google maps while in unfamiliar territory) or getting lost within ourselves (what is really happening in our interior?) Letting ourselves sit in the unknown is a practice, but one that we cannot grow without. 

Quote from A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

We can reduce our anxiety, our worrying about the future, about other people, when we let ourselves get more comfortable with the unknown instead of made-up stories. Why would we rather sit in the discomfort of a worry than make peace with the unknown? 

Solnit's collection of essays asks us to make space for the strangeness and vastness of the world, both interior and exterior, so that we can make space for our fullest selves. 

Check it out here, and join the Soft Heart Book Club for more book recommendations and to commune with other soft hearted humans looking to explore what it means to be a caring human in the world. 


Thank you for being here 👋 I'm a queer creative based in Barcelona working to be a good human and contribute to a world full of joy & care for ourselves and for future generations.

I want to work together to help you create the world you want to live in. I write, make art, and create community spaces for us to to share thoughts, feelings, & opportunities for us to explore together. Being human is hard, but we can make it easier for each other. I believe in us. 💜

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