Sundry Wonders is a weekly column featuring a photo gallery and meditation, usually based on my walks over the course of the week. I got lost this morning and thought about magic.

Getting lost and magic

I got lost this morning. Don’t you love getting lost, just a little bit? Somewhere in the rabbit warren of streets behind where I’m staying lie a couple of old, small churches, so I decided to go find them.

I don’t know why I love old churches so much—I’m not into that kind of magic. I am, however, drawn to things that look as though they fell through time, and churches are that kind of magic, often.

Yesterday in Diocletian’s Palace, I got to chatting with an older Canadian couple waiting behind me in the ticket line. We wound up at one of the reliquaries displays in the Treasury museum at the same time, with the same bemused and slightly horrified expressions as we beheld a human skull encased in a beautiful silver representation of the person.

“THAT is disturbing,” the woman said. “And the TEETH.”

I nodded. Grim. However, the silverwork on the heads was amazing. There’s something about all the effort we humans put into magic that I find beautiful. Sometimes it makes me sad.

Anyhow, I got off the path a bit when headed for the churches. I wasn’t truly lost (it’s not that big a place, if you don’t enter the forest), but I definitely could not tell you exactly where I was.

I thought for a moment that I’d stepped back in time. It was delicious.

I found one of the churches by accident and then turned a corner, completely shocked to find a whole cobblestone neighborhood I had no idea was there. An old woman, complete with a kerchief, stood in an alleyway. I started to get nervous. Maybe a new type of magic was at work here.

But then I read a sign and heard words I understand. I turned a corner, only to find one of the churches defaced with spray paint. One type of magic for another.

I turned another corner, and, alas. The spell was broken. I was no longer lost.


Scenes from getting lost this morning in Veli Varoš, Split.

Catch all the Sundry Wonders posts and let me know what you experienced on your walks in the comments.