one's bearings

*one's bearings

the knowledge of where one is; the knowledge of how one is oriented to one's immediate environment. (*Typically: get ~; find ~; have ~; lose ~; tell one ~.) After he fell, it took Ted a few minutes to get his bearings. Jean found her compass and got her bearings almost immediately.
See also: bearing
References in periodicals archive ?
But it is hard to get one's bearings on just what one is looking at, because from each angle, the perspective changes, and with it the impression of the scale and materials of this mutant sculpture.
The French have a word for it, depaysement, which means literally the loss of one's homeland (pays), metaphorically that sense of bewilderment which comes with losing one's bearings.
There are enough references to the familiar characters and events of The Wizard of Oz to comfort the traveler, but it takes a while to get one's bearings.
As far as I remember, the Ponte dei Tre Archi is the last bridge crossing the Rio di Canareggio before the lagoon (I know, though, how easy it is to lose one's bearings when the ocean is in the wrong direction).
One definition for "death" is to become senseless, to lose one's bearings.