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…