Friday, January 9, 2009
My Place in the World
Image: graphite on office paper, 2" x 3", digital colours.
I believe all of us walk about with a picture of our place in the world. Maybe we are so busy looking at facts and figures, satellite images, roadmaps, and gps that we are hardly aware of the visual image we hold in our heads. Neither was I until I did this doodle. As an entry in my 'doodle diary' (and more on that later) I was being deliberately whimsical, beginning with the first thing that came into my head, and pencilling in from there. What appeared on the page (all 2"x3" of it) was a map of my world and me in it, with all the rules of reality and perspective tossed into the winds, and all the important details in black and white.
So this is the map I carry around in my head of where I live. The houses to right being the new suburban sprawl of the once country town of Stouffville, the street lights creeping up the page being the highway arteries that race into vast sprawl of the city of Toronto, it's sky-scraping sky-line commanding the top right (south-west) corner of the page. Moving to the left is the vast spread of Milton and Missisauga, huge amorphous suburbs that leach northwards into farm-country. At the very top, smoke-stacks stand in for the steeltown of Hamilton that looms large on the western frontier of my world. And lastly, and bestly all those pine trees stand in for the fragmented forests of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Much of it row-planted pine and regrowth, none of it 'untouched by man' or 'pristine' nature, but a haven for wildlife nonetheless. It represents much needed breathing space, physical and psychic for me and many others. These trees are my beloved and beleaguered forests of the Oak Ridges Moraine. May they stand forever.