Friday, January 23, 2009

The Lively Geography of Being

I have been drawing maps of imaginary lands since I was 10 or 11 years old. These drawings are my most intimate doodles. When I feel like relaxing (Every 10 minutes these days), I put some nice mellow New Age music like Enya and go for my sketchbook and black ink pen. I am not a trained artist. I have no technique whatsoever but the enjoyment I get from doodling maps is enough reward. To truly enjoy this little known art form you must get acquainted with the emotional vocabulary of geography. So follow me on this little trek:

Islands are both relaxing and restorative, you need them to heal and to re-charge your batteries. Rivers are streams of joy and sorrow flowing freely to the calming sea. Coves are intimate like candlelight, misty afternoons and very old books. Peninsulas are always extending their mossy green arms into reconciliation and new opportunities. Mountains are your ideals, compasses for the heart. Meadows and swamps offer their insights on the trappings of the human mind. A careful constructed network of roads will make all the different areas of your map feel connected. I then name the towns and cities with words that sound both remote and earthy. It is then when the finished map becomes a realization. I wish you all many, many happy islands.