Tuesday, March 11, 2003

i read this keen little book called off the map about how things get named the other week. it was a fast read. mainly little factoids about names of places that will never stick, but it was still a fun little romp through the atlases of the world.

anyway it got me thinking about secret places. not sure exactly why, except maybe that often times maps have been made to help people find them, treasure maps, maps to shangrila and all that. but the secret place, or the place with a secret has always had firm control over my imagination. finding a place that only i or a select few know about is something that is very tantalizing. ever since i've moved into my apartment four years, i've been wanting to turn my garden into a secret one ( alas i've neither the money nor time to succeed ). i love the hill caer caradoc near my aunt's house in shropshire, england, because it holds a story that is ancient and little known, the hill feels like it has secrets -- as do the surrounding hills.

growing up, there were the woods across the street, the hidden pool by the old barn, special groves within the woods. those places were mine within my head. my own mental map.

i wonder if there is some biological basis to that really, the need to find some hidden spot to hide from predators or rivals. it might also be behind the very need for huamsn to explore, to find their own spot of land, their own tree and piece of dirt.


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