On days I that am a bit bemused, as I often am, I look to the beauty of a map, not so much for what it defines but for the life and lands outside its purview.
More than once, a map has shown me possibilities, if not a direct route.
I still prefer paper maps to GPS, which is not to say I don’t appreciate the expediency of GPS. I do, as well, its quickness in devising alternative routes. GPS gets me to Earth Fare, no matter how many turns I ignore.
GPS still allows me choice but it is one confined. In the folding and unfolding of a paper map, there is always the possibility of some new route revealing itself.
Yet, all maps have boundaries, best served by respect and with regard for exasperation. To balance both is to know the freedom of living within boundaries.
But when more bemused than balanced, all maps seem too… well, directional. After all, life turns on a dime.
What was once a thoughtfully planned—even reasoned–route may be a road without a bridge, closed off from all other routes.
That is the beauty of mapping, however, whether with paper or digitally. Either provides the known but curiosity takes us to the unknown, to the edge of uncertainty.
We are like Randall Jarrell’s “Sick Child” who implores existence, “all that I never thought of–think of me,” mixing the mystery of grace with the hope that is eternity.
It is the stuff of bridges.