A Current Interest In Cartography

The human mind isn’t a terribly logical or consistent place. Most people, given the choice to face a hideous or terrifying truth or to conveniently avoid it, choose the convenience and peace of normality. That doesn’t make them strong or weak people, or good or bad people. It just makes them people. – Jim Butcher

 

Living your life with abandon can be thrilling, until someone lives their life by abandoning you. – Ward Clever

 

There is an interminable sadness inherent in following the path of another, and an even greater sadness in forcing another to follow our path. Rains happen. Storms happen continuously in our lives. Upon shallow ground, the droplets form rivulets that change, merge, separate, flow together, parallel each other, stop at the slightest resistance. Everything is new, transient, malleable. Each droplet may change course, jump from this tiny stream to that, basing its course on what other droplets are doing.

People refuse to be rivers. They won’t cut a channel, commit to a path and stay that course through twists and turns, floods, drought, dams and erosion. Instead, they remain on the surface, existing only in life’s rivulets. They dabble in this thing or that, perpetually abandoning one thing for another, never truly experiencing anything, until they evaporate and fall again into the same shallow existence, repeatedly.

It makes no sense. Because all rivulets and all rivers eventually lead to the ocean, and in this metaphor, the ocean is death. It matters not what we experience or how we experience it, river or rivulet, we all reach death at some point.

The thing is, no rivulet will ever appear on a map. Rivulets may contribute to our river in small ways, but we can never add to them. They won’t allow it, happily (to them), blissfully, sadly (to us) entrenched in the easy and shallow cycles of life, the rising and falling.

Becoming a river takes effort, time, patience and consistency. It takes commitment to a path and following that path over and over, with only minor corrections. It takes caring for and carrying others, harboring and appreciating life, and occasionally, if we’re lucky, our river may join with another for the time it takes to reach the ocean. Only then will cartographers emblazon the blue veins onto their parchments, showing that we have made an impact, we have left a mark, we have made a difference.

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28 thoughts on “A Current Interest In Cartography”

  1. Couldn’t agree more. Alan Watts says how the Tao – there is no way to the Tao, the second you seek, you’ve separated yourself. That we are all waves of the same ocean reaching the same shore. Have you listened to any of his Chillstep mixes on YouTube? I meant to shoot you a few links because I thought you’d love them. I forgot lol

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      1. The most beautiful quote I read: “A composer doesn’t write his song specifically for the ending. He builds and crafts the entire piece. If all life was is the ending, what is the sense of living? You never listen to the song for just the end, it is the experience of the song you enjoy.” and of course, “People don’t enjoy life because they suffer what the gods made for fun” ~Alan Watts

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