- hello Donald
- Username: dwclow
- In response to: "If you could be a member of any band, what would it be?" YES.
- dwclow's latest answers
- My Sense of Direction, or My Love Affair with Maps.
A brief confusion between your ’left’ and your 'other left’, can end in an utter misunderstanding of the relationship between ’map' and ’reality’.
I am always a little surprised by the lack of my partner’s sense of direction. Less so now then when we first met, as I see the same trait expressed by our eldest son.
It begins subtly as a brief confusion between your ’left’ and your 'other left’, and ends in an utter misunderstanding of the relationship between ’map' and ’reality’. Please don’t get me wrong, she is a smart cookie; one of the brightest bulbs in the sign, as it were, but in this one trait there is simply a little disconnect.
This is all quite foreign to me. I won't deceive myself and claim to have some innate extra sense in my head, but I am able to consistently and accurately locate myself within my surroundings. That seems to be a safe way to frame it.
When I was nine years old, I began a strong relationship with maps. Before a road-trip, the map was unfolded and fully explored. The spiderweb of roads fascinated me and I would imagine that the map was a miniature version of the real world.
When I started canoeing and hiking I was just as interested with that ’map equals real world’ relationship. I would study the route before a trip. Then, when I was out in the wilds, I would locate our party on the map and try to orient our location in relation to other landmarks such as a creek bed or various hill tops.
I have long known that I have a strong aptitude for spatial reasoning. I can look at two dimensional construction drawings and understand what an object will look like in reality. I guess that ability helps with interpreting maps as well. In a sense I look at a map and imagine a tiny version of me standing there, while the real me is still able to see the bigger picture of the larger map from above.
Back at home after an outing I would linger over our maps and remember the numerous moments of the trip, reminded by the imagery that was the miniature paper world before me.
In time, I was able to read a map and quickly relate it to the world around me. Relate, not in the standard ’orienteering’ manner, but in a same way most people can visualize a 100 foot tall oak tree, simply by reading the phrase ’100 foot tall oak tree’. To me, looking down upon a map is equivalent to floating a thousand feet in the air, looking down upon the earth - they are the same. When embarking on a trip to a new area, the act of studying the relevant maps is sufficient to infuse a sense of familiarity with the new terrain.
So, do I have a great sense of direction? No, not nescisarily, its more an understanding of my surroundings.
- Summer Memories; learning what is truely important.
In nearly fifty years, I've had many summer memories... in someways the more recent ones are dear as they remain vibrant and clear. At my age, I do few things that I do not enjoy, and as such few individual memories escalate to the rank of favorite.
In many way the farther back one must cast the memory, the more sweet the imagery, and memories becomes.
Certainly, the majority of my summer memories are canoeing centric. It is just what I am happiest doing and where I am happiest being.
So after some thought, I would have to say that my 'favorite summer memory' would have to be canoeing with my family.
When I was many years younger, and my sisters and brother all still lived at home, we would often spend a week canoeing through Killarney Park, in Central Ontario. The water was clean, the air was clear, and entire world was... elsewhere.
In hind sight, I really must thank my parents for making all the effort to coordinate such trips, for it surely wasn't easy. Although, perhaps they felt as I do now, that there was simply no better way to spent part of your summer vacation, than with family, in one of the most beautiful Parks in Ontario.