How we orient

My baby sister came to visit today. We aren’t much alike but most of the time I feel I really only have one unselfish part of me, and that it actually exists inside of her but somehow remains part of who I am. The people I’m related to are the only big thing about me which is one of those rare things to be certain of.

In any case we just got off the phone because she couldn’t find the freeway, which is strange. One big thing we do not have in common is that she almost always knows what direction she’s going in while I will get lost anywhere. If you don’t have this problem, this is the worst part: you, often, are so fundamentally wrong about something and have absolutely no idea. Where I will be going feels north and everything I’ve done previously tells me it’s north and I know it’s north, which is in truth the only way I can ever figure out I’m headed south. It’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that your body could tell you something entirely false.

But hark, a website! The internet will always know where I am. 


The direction I am trying to go: Kevin Fanning put a story in printed-words-on-paper form. Likely this isn’t news because the left-turn right-turn map that got most people here probably started with Kevin showing support, so with luck you’ve already made that purchase and didn’t miss out. Here, go read an interview where he tells you that writing about being lost is kind of his thing but then tells you he wants to give you a map: 

NS: Another Location Scout question, just because I was curious: why did you choose to credit borrowing phrases from your former blog posts and one of Joshua Allen’s?

KF: It’s a kind of map, really. Pointing the direction to other places that unpack some of the ideas and scenes happening in the story. These are things that influenced me in the writing. I just wanted to asterisk them out in case other people would be interested. I try to include endnotes like that in every book I put out. There’s other stuff to chew over once the story is done.

What Kevin writes feels big, twofold: he’s put this thing in print for you and then shown you the places outside of it to go, with a story that in ways is about how big the place we exist is. He writes with a kind of generosity that is different from most other writing, which has nothing to do with being safe or gentle all the time but more about there just being a lot here, and here are some ways to pay attention. However much he writes about being lost seems to me more about making things wide open so that you’ll actually look, which is all you can do when you get lost, anyway. 

My favorite part is the third paragraph of chapter five. 


Here it is, that device

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