lost and found [revisited]

[N.B.  two years ago tonight, along with the rest of the world, i said farewell to my beloved LOST.  i’m still waiting for another show to come along and hook me the way it did; i fear i’ll be waiting for a long, long time.]

from the first time i saw that swirling LOST title screen in 2004, i was hooked.

you know the story — it all begins with the crash of oceanic flight 815, which strands the surviving passengers on a seemingly deserted island. only it’s not really deserted. and it’s an island like no other.

there were polar bears and ‘others’ and hatches,

the numbers and the incident and the dharma initiative,

the black rock and the crazy french woman and the smoke monster.

each week, a new twist was added to the story — often leaving me confounded, but always wanting more. as the seasons progressed, the flash-backs became flash-forwards and then flash-sideways, and the characters continued their entangled lives in different times and places. i loved it all.

and i knew it had to end. that’s the one thing every good story has in common.

the sixth and final season was a race to the finish and i couldn’t wait to see how it all came together.

on may 23, 2010, i settled in for the LOST finale event, and when the end credits appeared, i was angry, shocked and offended. i hated the ending. six years of my life for PURGATORY? what about the ISLAND? the NUMBERS? the TIME TRAVEL? the LIGHT?

i wanted to be amazed and astounded, but instead, i felt exhausted and let down. i felt like the writers took the ‘easy’ way out and ignored the essence of the story — the island. the mysteries. the science.

so i gave it a few days, and i watched it again, and then once more for good measure. and then something happened, i got it.

i’m usually not so slow on the uptake, but i realize now, for all of us island-junkies, the finale could never be satisfying. the questions couldn’t be answered, the mysteries couldn’t be solved, because the show wasn’t really about the island, it was about the people. the survivors.

the island, in all of it’s crazy, unexplained, glorious mystery was really just a device to tell a story. jack’s story. locke’s story. desmond’s story. your story. my story.

realizing that made me love LOST in a whole new way. these people were irrevocably connected, entwined. individually they were all lost, but together they were found. and together they moved on.

so, in the end, i let go of the island. i realized that it’s the people that matter. the connections we make, the lives we touch — that’s what helps us find beauty and truth and light. and that’s what’s real for me.

nobody does it alone.


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