Musing on Maps and Minds

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Wow – I have been so impressed and inspired by where the cartography of who we are has taken us. Reading all the calls and responses (with Kevin, ever game for the opening volley) has unearthed a whole range of related and unrelated thoughts. – so here they are in no particular order

Terra Incognita – isn’t that the essence of our exploration of identity?

“the best maps not only lead you into unfamiliar territory, but allow you to re-envision your own familiar surroundings from a new perspective.” – Miles Harvey author of, The Island of Lost Maps

For me, the following quotation from page 13 of Peter Turchi’s book, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, epitomizes my expectations of and for Digital Writing Month.

“Artistic creation is a voyage into the unknown. In our own eyes, we are off the map. The excitement of potential discovery is accompanied by anxiety, despair, cautions perhaps, perhaps boldness, and, always, the risk of failure. Failure can take the form of our being hopelessly lost, or pointlessly lost, or not finding what we came for (though that last is sometimes accompanied by the discovery of something we didn’t anticipate, couldn’t even imagine before we found it). We strike out for what we believe to be uncharted waters, only to find ourselves in someone else’s bathtub.”

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ” – Little Gidding V,  Four Quartets. T.S. Eliot (1943)

I am also playing with the idea of contour maps that represent three dimensional space in two dimensions – how does this parallel a cv or what we are doing when we write – where we make an attempt to convey three dimensional “us” through text and two dimensions?

Then along comes Yin Wah Kreher and awakens in me some of the layers of complexity that exist between ideographic representation (Chinese characters) and alphabetic representation – which is so linear and prescribed.

. . . and Kay Sidebottom, “This blog for me, is my cartography.”

. . . and Rachel Baum, “Trust that learning can happen anywhere.”

. . . and then there is the conceptualization of neatlines. “Neatlines surround the whole picture the mapmaker wants to show. They also indicate whether the map is complete. If there are neatlines on one side of the map and not the others, you know you do not have the whole map, part of it is missing.” (p. 24, Map Art, 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel)

. . . so what are your cv neatlines and where are they non-existent?

. . .where are the #Digiwrimo neatlines?

and finally another of my poems . . . because . . . just because it takes me one step closer to my own alternative cv neatlines.

Full of Twilights

The twilight blue sweater rolls across

the prairie sky fresh with the ripeness of new snow

reflecting up into the pools of cobalt blue

dotted with floating lotus clouds

soft to a horizon tinged with a blush of pink.

The corners of the fields and the sky

stretch taut, so taut that the

curvature of the earth forms a glimmer of a crescent

and the blanket glow of white enfolds the world

fresh with winter’s initiation.

Winds sciffs across the open expanse

Creating dune shadows and laying bare

chaff bristles of summer’s gathered texture.

Winter’s harvest plays with water’s many moods,

sings softly, dances lightly, twirling and scooping up

handfuls of sharp inhalations, raised shoulders,

turned heads and ears toughing shoulders.

Those of us who live above 50 degrees,

not of the thermometer but

on the only one that counts  . . . the Gaia ship

floating bubble-like and full of winter twilights

we invariably authenticate the season’s signature,

by the height of the sun and the dark of the day.

photograph at top of post from:

About Maureen Crawford

I work as a researcher and educational consultant. My undergraduate degree is in industrial design so design thinking has long been part of my process - emergent connectivist learning resonates strongly with me.
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3 Responses to Musing on Maps and Minds

  1. Your writing has got me thinking. I map things, but more of mindmapping. Not so much geographic mapping. And mindmapping — which you’ve probably done? — is random and spontaneously messy. No neatlines. And by the way, lovely quotes! I have to get to my blog and start writing a bit from reading so much good stuff.

    • I just found out about neatlines and what they are called. I am more of a free-style skier so I like the idea of an incomplete map or one where there are neatlines on one portion of the maps and who knows what, . . . dragons, music, mystery towards the other edges.
      Thanks for commenting, I love the back and forth that can happen with blog posts and comments!

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