This past September I packed up my life from the corners of Canada where I’ve been hiding and moved to the Annapolis Valley for the first of two years attending CoGS, a respected but secret place for mapheads.
(cover photo courtesy of NASA, landsat5,+ ERDAS Imagine)
I have embraced my affinity for visual memory recall, and the affinity for photos, spatial displays, and visualized directions whenever possible. Ergo, it was about time I took those skills and developed them into something employable.
Getting here took a year of being unemployed, detaching myself from the emotional loss of a comfortable job, and resettling in a new version of familiar on the other side of Canada. During this time I got to the heart of what I truly love – spending some time and “Pogey” dollars on travel. By the time I wound up back on the East Coast in March 2016, I’d been to every other land province in the country for atleast 12 hours since leaving Edmonton in Fall 2015. (Sorry Newfoundland, someday!)
And yet, it was the best kind of preparation I could have designed for myself. If I were to do it all again, I would do few things differently if only for the improved state of mental wellbeing. Road regrets aside, I’m glad to have documented many of the adventures on paper maps with coloured notes. Pathways + people of places etched into memory banks. These banks I draw from on days when transition gets too heavy.
Here, is Lawrencetown (not the beach). For a town that turns out hundreds* (*~2) of cartographic wizards annually, it’s constantly surprising how confusing its location can be for nearly everyone trying to figure where they have to go to be spatially informed. A college tucked in the heart of the Annapolis Valley, it turns out. It’s not really on the map for much, but it hits the mark for maps.
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the course of the past year, and I’m exceedingly grateful for the amount of rad tunes, fun folks, and window-seat-views I have the privilege to remember.
The next step, as it always is with growth, is to take what was and magnify into a continued beauty. Mapping opens the doors to what I have always Trump-ed about: what “should” be and how it “could” be done. Damn him and that attitude. Independent thought is alive and well. Love conquers hate. Questions conquer fear.
Fear has no place here, says the wise Ken Stead.
So much for fear, echoes another bearded bard Dan Mangan.
In every ounce of sadness, confusion, and melancholy, there is a fellow human who has lived through worse and wants to share that moment with you. Music wins.
I’ve come to learn many parallels between cartography and composition. Notes and phrases move across piano keys as swiftly as the eye connects dots via contour lines, streets, and rivers.
Psychogeography is just that – allowing emotion to bleed into the documentation of living.
For now, it’s watersheds and text placement. Remotely sensing our community’s infrared, even, has a colourful subtext.
So much for Alberta.. Time for happiness in the form of hectare calculations.