Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


Ramblin' Man

Life is a journey. I'm not the sojourner. Not pilot, navigator, nor passenger. Nor even the vehicle. I'm the ride, the traversal (and maybe, just maybe, cartographer). No itinerary, except in retrospect, and that keeps changing. Everything prepares me for what I'll see, though nothing could. Nobody can see everything anyway, but I try to see all I can.

Taking in the sights is a matter of accretion, of assimilation. I take a bit with me, leaving nothing of myself behind. Each experience leaves some trace, incrementing the mental topography, as fluid as any natural landscape, dunes shifting, mountains eroding, rivers changing course. The topography in turn determines how new experience will be incorporated, nothing taken in all at once, even when the change is as abrupt as an earthquake or a volcano. Or experience may be refracted through a fellow traveller, even (especially?) when meeting that traveller is the event, reciprocally reshaping the corresponding landscapes. The voyages can never be fully shared, as separate points of origin affect how significant features are received, landmarked, and the terrains remain distinct even as the maps nominally coincide. And yet, amid all the give and take, nothing is lost.

But the I of which I speak is not this internal landscape, no more than the sojourner upon it. The territory is what I make of it, and vice versa, as I make the journey. Making it up as I go along. Finding my place in the world and finding the world in my place. It is all one, inseperable in aspect.

Why do I say I? It might just as well be you. It's merely a placeholder. But even (especially?) the same words convey different meanings.


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