Monday, July 03, 2006

i'm sitting with this little orange and white book on my lap. it's called the first book of maps and globes. i wasn't looking to read a story. i sat to type.

page 47:

the world-wide network

when a person wants to get from one place to another on land, he can generally use roads, landmarks, and signs to help him find his way. but when a ship's captain needs to find his way from one place to another across the ocean, he has no roads, no landmarks, and no signs to follow. instead, he uses imaginary lines, some running north and south, others running east and west...

the meridians aren't parallel to each other.... they divide the globe into imaginary sections like the segments of an orange.

parallels and meridians cover the globe with an imaginary network that is very important to people who use maps, especially at sea.

the book was a discard. written in the 50's. written to appeal to little boys and girls with an interest in cartography. a flourishing audience mid-century i'm sure.

benchmarks. inertial navigation. contour lines. legend. symbol. great-circle route.

not a term halts abruptly at the length of its webster's chain. not for me leastways. not this evening. there are three links to every one. i'm taxed.

i began writing here because i tend to tax others with the sheer volume of my correspondence. letters to berkeley. new york. russia. brooklyn. oakland. letters to my friend 4 miles up the road. letters to invisible people. sometimes letters to imaginary people. love them nonetheless. but it isn't a love shared by all. as a consequence nothing ever comes of it. i neglect to write at anything else.

page 5:

talking with a map

a map is a diagram of the earth's surface, as if we were looking down from high in the air. often we can learn something more easily by looking at a map than by reading hundreds of words in a book or newspaper.

many times, when we want to explain something to another person, we can do it more quickly by making a simple map than by speaking a lot of words or writing many pages of directions.

if i could draw there'd be a significant picture here. i cannot. use your beautiful imagination.

thanks to those that visited. you know where to find me.

--yours

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