lost – one mind, one body


The third post in the loss trilogy prompt series screams ‘lost and found’ – immediately remembered the email…


We had a lost and found box at our old office. On the first day of most weeks at least one new weekend visitor item – study notes, umbrellas, flasks, the occasional wallet, once a monk’s undergarments I kid you not.

And then we downsized. No one but us uses our new office and so those days are gone. We get emails and phone calls about every weird and wonderful thing you couldn’t imagine though.  We had an email a few months ago about some lost items, found.

She told of finding them in a park, some laid out (shrine like, she didn’t know that), and some…well she’d opened the backpack and looked through it. Wet from the early morning walk dew. Thorough – she photographed everything, left it there, another day brought it home. She thought we were the right people to contact, to offer it to.

I thought we were too. My boss said ‘tell her to contact the police’. ‘Foul play’, ‘maybe murder’. I’m thinking a homeless, mentally ill guy. Why do I immediately suspect male you wonder? The email and photos upset me beyond the contents. My mind flew to my son. My greatest fear homelessness. Someone’s son is living rough and now lost? Precious belongings left with leafy natural altar.

I told her ‘we can’t take the artefacts’ and ‘I think you should contact the police, and tell them everything’. Then I did a little detective work of my own and realised my fears. Delusion claimed his mind some time ago – what has become of his body unknown. What became of his precious keepsakes, of respect and practice, also unknown. Lost, or found?

Why should living outside unnerve me so? The Buddha himself was itinerant – no attachment, nothing lost…




8 thoughts on “lost – one mind, one body

  1. I am so moved by your plight, your writing, your mother’s love and aching, your buddha acceptance. Stay strong dear cyber friend. Or collapse into a puddle if that’s what’s most needed. xoxox

  2. Your post offers an interesting conundrum. I think I would be leaving the backpack where it was on the off chance someone who left it there……was coming back. But then one wonder’s what if it belonged to someone who had become mentally confused, or early alzheimers, (and they had mistakenly left it there and forgotten where they left it).

    And then of course there is the third option………..rather more disturbing…….that the owner has met with something more serious like crime….death…. and is no longer of this world.

    Finding property belonging to others produces more questions (than answers).

    Seeing so many homeless on my street photography walks in the city has certainly made me more aware of their plight. But sometimes i wonder if some of these homeless are just urban nomads, following the freedom from desire and responsibility of possessions (as that of the Sadhus or Holy Men of India)?

    • Hi Vicki

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment – there is more to the story of course. The woman had witnessed the backpack, unmoved, for several days before she looked…

      I would love to think the homeless were so for those spiritual reasons – I fear the majority are mental health issues though…

  3. Annie that sounds so sad, sad that we human’s can be so alone and no one cares enough to help. Especially with someone who has mental health issues. I don’t see that many homeless people out in the country but when I lived in the city it was hard to walk by and not give something, although sometimes I offered food and they only wanted the money.

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