Maps are very useful tools, especially when we first step foot into unfamiliar terrain.  If only it were so easy that every single experience in life would come with a map to guide us through.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Most of the time, when we are brave – or foolish – enough to push the envelope further, we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere and we have to rely only on our wits to survive.  When we are in the middle of a strange place, we find out what we are truly made of – eventually.  We find out whether we sink or swim, fly or fall, win or lose.

As much as we could want to call out for help and use the GPRS system, we find that the satellites have not yet been invented to help us get through uncharted emotional and experiential grounds and all we can do is say a little prayer and carry on – hoping that we survive.

As we stumble through the unexplored thicket, our apprehension causes us to seek refuge in the confusing but temporarily effective mixture of anxiety and reason.  We alternately comfort ourselves with relaxing fantasies and detach ourselves from the unnerving foreboding with seemingly immutable logic.

However, this curious concoction can only get us so far before that buzz wears off and we have to confront ourselves – and this fact, more than the anxiety of being lost, is even more horrifying.

When the effects of the self-inflicted oscillating medley wears off, we have to accept the fact that there is no available map, no established path, no illusion, and no logic which effectively shields us from the novelty, ambiguity and unpredictability of being at some point where we have never been before.

As much as we might be tempted to refer to the past as a frame of reference, we shouldn’t since in doing so, we then risk the hazard of imposing a defunct blueprint which would most likely not be relevant to present circumstances.  As much as outdated diagrams might be more accessible and enticingly easy to refer to, referring to the obsolete would most likely turn out to be more dangerous than having no map at all and starting from square one.

What’s left then is for us to buckle down and face the challenge of actually charting a brand new map of what we discover.  It might be more of a rough sketch or a doodle riddled with slight to gross inaccuracies than the exact scaled diagrams which we might prefer.  We find ourselves relying on raw mettle more than anything else, along with the contingent blend of exhilarating fortitude and unsettling trepidation.

Take courage and you will find that through the precarious balance of sheer guts and blind faith, a fresh world unfolds beguilingly, a new map drawn out, and a transformed person emerges, possibly fumbling at some point, but ultimately prevailing.

(c) Niconica 2010

Advertisements