1. You look at a map of a city you’ve never been to.
You see patterns and street names and they tell you nothing. The map remains dead, the city unknown.
2. You go to the city you’ve never been to.
It becomes a city you know.
3. You look at a map of a city you’ve been to, but have left behind. As you look at the map, you remember.
You are looking at nostalgia. You walk through street names and remember the taste of cake in the café whose name you forgot, but you remember its yellow walls and comfy chairs. A square is no longer four lines on a map, but an open space with people and statues and laughter and a fountain in the center. The monotonous, two-dimensional blue that indicates an ocean turns into postcard memories, so many shades of blue and green and the smell of salt and fish. The famous building with the famous name that everyone knows is now a personal experience, it is yours and yours alone in a way that will never make it anyone else’s. A billion feet have walked these (now familiar) paths and two of them were yours. You can trace the steps you have taken and you remember feelings and colours and strangers who offered you a smile. There is the hostel you slept in, there is the river you crossed so many times, there is the corner where you listened to the most amazing street musician. You fondly whisper street names that you had trouble pronouncing when you first spoke them, clumsily. You connect dots, and they turn to images in your head.
The map is alive, the city an old friend.
4. The map you look at is always the same; the perception is different. It is you who has changed.
p.s. // every time i look at a map I have a feeling that is hard to put into words
A Cat Called Room 8 - In 1952, a cat wandered into a classroom at Elysian Heights Elementary School, Echo Park, California, and there began the story of one of the world’s most adored cats. After this cat came back to the same classroom each morning, the children decided to name him “Room 8″ after the number of their classroom.
Room 8, just like the children, left the school for the summer and would always return on the very first day of the new year. This pattern continued each year until his death in 1968. Room 8 became a celebrity in his own right, receiving letters from fans worldwide after appearing in Look Magazine, and even inspiring a book entitled “A Cat Called Room 8” and a song entitled “Room 8: The School Cat.”
Following his death in 1968, his obituary in the Los Angeles Times ran three paragraphs, like any other well-loved celebrity. His obituary even ran in papers as far away as Connecticut. He is buried in the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas, California, and Elysian Heights Elementary School has a wall mural and etched tributes on the side walk in commemoration of this wonderful cat that taught a lot of young children a lesson in love, friendship, and compassion.