Worry is a way to pretend that you have to knowledge or control over what you don’t–and it surprises me, even in myself, how much we prefer ugly scenarios to the pure unknown. Perhaps fantasy is what you fill up maps with rather than saying that they contain the unknown (165).
But the terra incognita spaces on maps say that knowledge also is an island surrounded by oceans of the unknown. They signify that the cartographers knew they did not know, and awareness of ignorance is not just ignorance, its awareness of knowledge’s limits (163).
We tend to consider the foundations of our culture to be natural, but every foundation had builders and an origin–which is to say that it was a creative construction, not a biological inevitability. Just as a twelfth-century cultural revolution ushered in romantic love as first a literary subject and then a way of experiencing the… Read More Solnit, Rebecca “Wanderlust” (Penguin 2000)
Memory, like the mind and time, is unimaginable without physical dimensions; to imagine it as a physical place is to make it into a landscape in which its contents are located, and what has location can be approached. That is to say, if memory is imagined as a real space–a place, theater, library–then the act… Read More Solnit, Rebecca “Wanderlust”