Mapmakers

I love maps, driving, the window seat on a plane, basically anything to do with travel and navigating. For my birthday a friend gave me a wonderful book full of odd maps called, You Are Here Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon. I had coveted this book for a while and was delighted to sit in bed with it examining maps of bodies, love and the New Map of the Land of Matrimony where the town I live in is featured. As some of my dear readers know my problem resides not with getting myself from one place to the next but with being content in the place that I’m in. You are here usually doesn’t last for very long. And for a while I thought I would be , as Anthony Bourdain once put it, a perpetual malcontent. Thinking that the right place would be in the next place I was forever moving about never wanting to settle. Settling, for me never meant creating a life and stopping for a while, it meant having less than everything I wanted. But one of the definitions, according to dictionary.com, says that settle means to cause (a liquid) to become clear ( by depositing dregs). And if you ignore the parenthesis, which I enjoy doing, it means to become clear. And even if you don’t, maybe settling means  finally depositing those dregs and seeing clearly.  Stephen S. Hall writes in You Are Here,

As we navigate on the trip that Dante called “our life’s way,” we are all creating our private maps. Like Mercator, we are not discovering entirely new worlds; rather, we are laying a new set of lines down on a known but changing world, arranging and rearranging metaphysical rhumbs that we associate with successful navigation. To each, a unique projection. I, Mercator, and you, too.

Wherever on the world map you may be and on your own personal map, I wish you happy map making!


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