Friday, January 13, 2012

topography of a life

i'm fascinated by maps. on pinterest, i have a board called topographies, that's full of interesting and inspiring art people have made of maps. but maps are art in and of themselves. they are a representation of a place, not a duplication - a map can never truly capture all that is about a place (borges knew this). they remain but an incomplete illusion. i think it's what makes art featuring maps so fascinating.

just as it's impossible for a map to truly represent a place, it's completely impossible to fully blog a life. for one, no one would want to read it, for another, it's simply impossible to put words to it all. that, of course, doesn't stop people from trying. there are those who blog their breakfast or nightly dinners and then publish books of the photos, in case you missed one of those prosaic shots. there are people who take a photo at the same time every day (or was that just a plot device in a midsomer murder?). or people who simply take a photo every day (i read about a guy who did that for like 30 years).

me, my life and my blog, are all over the place - sometimes it's a craft blog, sometimes a travelogue, sometimes it's about perfume, or raising a child, or living in self-chosen exile, occasionally it's even about politics. but mostly, i blog to think things through, work them out and make sense of the world around me. and it feels pretty real to me. but you can never truly convey what it's all like (especially not the bits inside your head). you can only sketch the outlines. map the topographies of a life, if you will.

i don't share everything, but i do think that because of the immediate kind of person that i am, how i'm feeling is pretty obvious - good and bad. of course there are things i don't blog "out loud" - because they might hurt someone or burn a bridge or get someone (usually me) in trouble (the tales i could tell you of several big corporations would make your toes curl). i also don't blog every worry i have, because to an extent, i want this to be a mostly positive space. but i do blog about those things on my secret blog, because blogging is how i think. or rather, writing is how i think, and blogging is my medium of choice. there's something about that little blogger compose window that just gets the words flowing. and the impossible mapping of a life continues.



Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

I love maps and artists that use maps as well....I'm also just really starting to get into Pinterest (so slow to catch on to these things!) and that's a great idea for a board....thanks Julie. Oh and I do enjoy your's very honest and always resonates with me. Thanks and happy new year! -- P.

Magpie said...

Yes - you describe how and why I blog very well.

(I love maps too - a paper map spread across the kitchen table is so full of potential.)

will said...

Perhaps its because of Map Quest and Google Maps but once upon a time paper maps were commonly available. Gas stations provided free maps, and so did state info centers. Then there were the terrific wall maps included in issues of National Geographic... What better way to learn all the U.S. States?

My favorite maps are topo sheets ...the best accessory there is when back packing.

Gypsyfeet said...

Hi Julie! just dropping by to say Hello :) I also love maps- I would stare at my atlas for hours when I was a kid, and now I stare for hours at Google Earth... maybe thats where i got my itchy travel feet. I also agree that blogging is a glimpse of something, like travelling and life you can never fully put it all into words! also, I love this pinterest site! so fun! How have you been?

Gypsyfeet said...

ps: Happy Friday 13th!

Sammi said...

i like the map chair in the bottom picture....

i have fallen out of the habit of publicly blogging, i still use my livejournal regularly but even there i sometimes need a nudge from someone to remind me i should update. i don't know why, i think sometimes my life is mostly work and that is not so interesting to blog about.

it is funny tho' to look back on my blogs and find what i thought was a big deal and what i think of it now, good or bad :)

it sure is trying to keep a map of a life.

c is for cape town said...

Yes yes yes to everything and more! Having recently attempted this blogging about (kinda) only one thing I've come to realise (duh) that I can't do it. I need to blog about so much more to be authentic. It's been a liberating realisation.
There's just something about that little blogger compose window indeed!

j. wilson said...

and i totally did not know YOU had a blog. wow. we lean towards the same things if i may say. i've got you in ym reader now, thank you for your words!