I love maps. Topographical, road, flight maps, ancient there-be-dragon maps and modern maps with ever-changing borders. An elementary school assignment — I can’t remember what grade — involved writing a log for a trip around the world. You could start and end wherever you wanted. I remember visiting Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul, Cairo, Delhi, Tokyo, Perth, the Easter Islands, trekking high into the Andes, then to Rio, Mexico City, the Grand Canyon, way up to the Hudson Bay, and then landing back in my hometown in suburban Columbus, Ohio. I avoided the USSR. It was the late ’60s but it was before détente. I can still say that it was my all-time favorite school assignment ever.
For all my love of the earth “graphies” — topography, geography, cartography — I struggle with defining a sense of place where I live today. Pigspittle, Ohio, isn’t on a map. It is a nickname for a real place that…
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