“Hic sunt dracones” on the mind map

By | March 25, 2021

At this point, I cannot say how long I will continue to navel gaze whilst searching for the music of my words. I can already sense other thoughts lapping at the edges of my thinking as I write these words focused on exploring changes in my internal navigation system. I find myself hesitating to approach these ideas closer, not yet ready to flesh them out in public. Introspection, visible in the steady flow of published posts, has begun to feel like a comfort zone. Looking up and ahead into the distance is what cost me my equilibrium in the first place. There be dragons ahead, screams my spidey sense.

“Carta Marina” of Scandinavia (1539) by Olaus Magnus, woodcut: Detail

Hic sunt dracones ancient mapmakers are supposed to have said, when filling up the unexplored corners of their known universe with illustrations of mythical beasts. ‘Here be dragons’ to translate the latin phrase into English, a cautionary aphorism meant to describe the dangers of unexplored territory. Metaphorically speaking, it feels to me that its the well trodden paths of the past that might be populated by large and vicious wildlife still licking their chops after having silenced the songs of my keyboard; not the fast flowing rivers streaming out this week.

❝There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.❞ ― Robert Southey

What I’m writing now, in long ungrammatical and barely edited posts, is a series of love letters to myself. Its not everyday that one can say its the 55th anniversary of my birth. Nor is it everyday that one can sit down to write paeans to pondering the way I have been able to, of late. Opening up the blog’s dashboard and sitting in front of the blank page has become pleasurable an activity in a way that it hasn’t been for years. This I recognize now, as I sit here pausing and thinking about what I want to say and which way I want this post to go.

The old music is not yet here in quite the same way; and perhaps, it might never return. I might be in search of a memory – of a different person in a different world – and not a song that’s part of me the way my fingers or my typing skills seem to be. What if its the old pleasure that remains the same, the one I’ve come feel again? And the songs and the music of the words will be new ones, made now in today, rather than those of yesterday?

I didn’t feel the magic of words when I used to blog prolifically in the years long gone; instead, it was the rhythm of the phrases and experiencing joy in thinking new things and finding the right words to put new concepts and thoughts together in visible form that brought me back over and over to read my posts again. Even now, part of the pleasurable sensation I feel comes from the increasingly effortless act of thinking and writing out those thoughts, in this my favoured format. But there’s something more yet to be found, and I don’t know what that is. I’ll keep on looking. It might just be newly made music, one with magic embedded in the word songs like in the Kalevala, you never know.

Introspecting out loud is an indulgence rarely experienced. A personal blog in my own tiny corner of the digital universe feels just right, right now. I can lose myself in the sheer pleasure of thinking and writing again.

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