I love maps.
There is something completely satisfying about looking down at a map and seeing where one has been, and even better, where one may yet go. Maps represent possibility, optimism, and imagination. They kindle a desire to explore and see and know. They are always eager to help do the dirty work of planning, and that necessary and vital resue work when one is lost. Maps are, I think, one’s greatest travel companion.
And while I love GPS technology, it fails to capture the realism and tangible quality of a well drawn, well used map.
Hanging on my wall is a framed map of Middle Earth. Yes, I admit, I am a Lord of the Rings nerd. I often stand and watch the map, retracing the story through it, replaying the events that unfolded at each location. It is, perhaps, a blatant manifestation of my inner-geekhood – I love science fiction and fantasy. Hanging on the opposite wall is a map of Earth. The non-fantastical, actual earth that you and I live on. Geography and exploration are others of my favorite topics.
Maps in that sense then become a representation of both the imaginative and the absolute. That is, there are a myriad of endless and improbable and marvelous outcomes that in time may all at once become historical and authentic and actual experiences, memories, and stories.
I love maps.