The Map

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face,
stars to fill my dream.

I am a traveler of both time and space,
to be where I have been.
- Kashmir, Led Zepplin


At my childhood home, there is a map. It runs the height and length of a main wall upstairs. The map has been there as long as I can remember. As I was not even one year old at the time the house was built, I'm not sure exactly when it was pasted on the wall.

I've spent many days and nights examining this geographic wallpaper. When I needed to study for geography and locate countries, this was my go to resource. When I would hear about a city or country on the news, I would confirm its location here. I would dream about travelling to various destinations across the globe and chart the course along its lines of latitude and longitude.

Yes, that's the Soviet Union.

But at the heart of this world wide expanse is my home. This detail among details will probably be the primary physical memory that I hold of this place.

You see, I'm transported to being a kid again every time I see it. No matter how much I've grown or aged, I still feel small when I stand there in front of the oceans and the sprawling political boundaries. And though this piece of 1984 cartography is outdated, it will always be a relevant reminder of where I come from.

The gold braid is forever etched in my memory.

For years, I thought Greenland was the one of the largest places on earth.

Matthew WaltonComment