The lost and found department

There is no Lost and Found department at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station.

I went looking for a lost thermos. I heard someone yell, “I can’t find my other sock!” We all found ourselves searching for belongings in a place that doesn’t have a Lost and Found department.

Here’s a guide to finding things around the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station:

Roll in the mud, the green, the soil. You have instructions to forget sight, sound and smell. Obey the wind. Your mind will let itself off its leash. You will not find the keys you lost. You will find the sense to be free.

Learn from the lichen. It will teach you endurance from cold winds and from reindeers of life stamping on your quests. You will not find your lost glove. But you may find vision.

Take off your jacket and dig your hands deep into the soil. Right up to your elbow. Maybe all the way up to your shoulder. And then your head. Bury yourself in bacteria and brown. The clay does not have your lost shoe. If you ask them gently, they might teach your nose lessons in paying attention to life in hidden places.

Gaze lightly across the lake. Screen the horizon for nothing in particular. The water is loud. You don’t have to be. The skies approach. They don’t come bearing a lost sweater. They have a message for you from Time.

Climb the Saana with weak knees. Befriend reindeers. Respect their need for distance. Be gentle to their caution. The mountain and the reindeer have outlived human conclusions. They do not have your lost charger. They have sensibilities to offer. Drop your apparatus. Let them test you now.

If you have lost your compass at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, give up all will to find it. Some things ought to stay lost.

Note: Kilpisjärvi is a village located in Finnish Lapland. The author wrote this while on expedition with Helsinki-based Bioart Society

This article is from issue


2020 Sep