6.30.2005

Lost Frost

Seeing myself well lost once more, I sighed,
"Where, where in Heaven am I? But don't tell me!
O opening clouds, by opening on me wide.
Let's let my heavenly lostness overwhelm me."
--ROBERT FROST

6.23.2005

Magazines, memory, spare change

Last night some of the LOST founders found ourselves at the Poets & Writers 35th anniversary party, and as we dispersed and kept our eyes on what was happening on-stage (the musico-literary amalgam that is the band One Ring Zero), I found myself enjoying a free beer thanks to Google (the event sponsors) and thinking about P&W's achievement.

It wasn't a misty-eyed event—until the open bar closed down—but there was something about the fact that 35 years later, some of the people who were there then were still there, still talking about and celebrating writing and now recalling the history of their magazine. What better way to remember the past than through anniversaries, and what greater purpose for writing than to remember the original moments? Memory translates. Why do I keep every issue of The New Yorker? What is the deep frustration I feel when my email account fills and I'm forced to choose what to delete? Am I crazy or do I know how human my memory is—that I need things to help keep my memories alive?

I had a great aunt who was tall and quiet and absolutely kind. I’d never been to her home, where she lived alone, but whenever I saw her I remember thinking, when I was young, that she had a remarkable memory. She remembered every one of her nieces' and nephews' birthdays, when we were young and before she died, and each birthday, she'd give us a plastic bag filled with coins, each coin in it minted in the year of our birth. It felt awful to spend those coins, each one handled by her and categorized by our birth years, each one having circulated for as long as we ourselves had, but we did, of course, trading her work for gum, or Topps baseball cards.

When she died, relatives went through her house and discovered a kind of legacy—papers, magazines, money, and clothes, everywhere, in stacks and in closets. I like to think that perhaps her mind was so concerned with preserving her memory that her house took up some of her day-to-day operational slack, functioning as an annex, an element of her that contained her mind's overflow.

Is it too much to say that LOST should be a similar thing? A repository or annex? A place where lost things are? A place where we blow off the dust, or the dirt, or the years, and celebrate the people, places, and things that were?

What did I lose yesterday? (A dry cleaning receipt, an argument, 2800 breaths.) But what don't I know I lost? What don't I remember losing? What don't we all remember losing?

We'll be here, finding out.

6.20.2005

Why, why, why?

We're six months out from our first issue here at LOST Magazine, and boy, are we busy.

Our little staff of six has been defining, building, drinking, waking, gaining, losing, and, in the process, finding. And that's the thing about this little magazine about loss; as we troll our collective memories for the losses we share—like buildings and landscapes and people—we're reminded of the things we’ve lost ourselves, and by remembering those things, we find them again.

Check back frequently for my updates on LOST's progress; for reflections on creating an online magazine; for images of lost things; for thoughts on whether lost things in photographs are really lost; for lists and tables; for periodic musings; to see what we've lost lately; and what we've found.

We're working hard to lay the groundwork for a magazine that is at once serious, funny, bizarre, and lovely. And if we do our jobs, we'll be putting you, too, at the crossroads of mourning and celebration on the first Monday of every month.

Come get lost with us.

6.15.2005

On loss, and losing out.

Three little kittens
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
--Eliza Lee Follen