“The Map is Not the Territory”

The Polish-American scholar Alfred Korzybski once said that “the map is not the territory.”  We might know where we live by way of naming towns, counties, states, and countries, but that may be the extent of our knowledge:  abstract, temporary, and altogether second-hand.  We begin to mistake such maps for the real, lush, complex, altogether mysteriousness of the territory itself.
Despite the over-abundance of information on which I do daily dine, (much of it banal and located entirely elsewhere), I find that I’ve grown up in a time of intense amnesia regarding the eco-mythic information of the ground that trembles beneath my feet and the waters that flow through my body and mind.
I try to inquire: where are the special places in my home terrain? Where might former inhabitants have sought out Sanctuary? Sustenance? Sacredness? Where does the Land seem to resonate with a power all its own? Which waters flow in ways that irrigate the imagination? Which micro-places deserve an etiquette of care and reverence?
And while I try my best to apprentice myself to this landscape tthrough walking, tree-climbing, swimming….dreaming… I think there is also a role for reading and research.
This investigation by Bouldillion can help. Reading this deepens my appreciation for the broader region only recently dubbed “New England.” Perhaps you’ll enjoy as it as well, and similarly, use it for your own scaffolding up toward a more holistic (though never complete) understanding of your own home.
A cycle that works for me:  explore, inquire, read, ponder, repeat.
(also: know of similar work for New England or your own homeland?  Pass it on!)

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Writer and Reader – the Great Dance

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