I love maps.
I collect their printed painted pages.
At the recycle center, residents dump atlases by the dozen. The beauty of their organic folding contours and urban fretworks captivates me. Thrilled, I dash home with salvaged prizes. Hoorah!
A map is like a tidal pool, filled with infinite textures, colors and life. The printed streets and canals reflect a mosaic of life witnessed remotely. I hover over a tidal pool similarly, examining and enjoying a surreal world without immersion.
The universality of maps allures. Every map is a deviation of familiar elements. The burgeoning roads, altering color gradients, and the misshapen shift of previous generations invites inspection and comparison.
Sometimes I pull out a page and to alter and make my own. I find that I cannot leave the lines of rivers untraced by paint, nor can I ignore the calling of latitude lines and mountain ranges. My interaction with my cartographic world may be odd, but it pleases me. Trundling anywhere with paint is an adventure.
On sleepless nights I think about rescuing maps. I want to save them all. In attics and basements, lovely annotated treasures lurk, expecting disposal by GPS sophisticates. I want to erect a “Put Your Maps Here” bin next to the local Planet Aid containers. I could spend a few more sleepless nights imagining the logistics of such a map recovery project.
Am I becoming a middle aged antiquarian, distressed by this generation’s turnover of cherished conventions? I don’t think so. We all share nostalgia for the obsolete articles of our lifetime. Me, I just love maps.