On the weekends I love to go to a flea market on the opposite side of town in the old racing downs. A tree lined street, so unusual for this part of the world, welcomes as you drive in. My friend and I walked around giddy in search of new items of art to take home. After being there for a couple hours we stumbled upon some beautiful textiles, pitchers, and folk art pieces. The man who ran this booth delighted in telling us about his life. He launched into a story about travel, not being afraid to fail, about venturing out on your own and living life as an adventure. One of my favorite books that I own is Peter Turchi’s Maps of the Imagination The Writer as Cartographer. He talks about maps as stories. In the first chapter he says,
At some point in the lifelong journey, the traveler recognizes he has something to offer others. Having mapped the Mississippi River and its environs, Mark Twain found himself prepared to tell the world about a place it had never seen the way he had seen it. Having been asked for directions, Nick Carraway realizes, “I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler.” Every writer, especially every writer who teaches, is asked for directions; and to the extent that he offers them, he takes on the role of guide in another way, outside of his work.