The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Mapmaking

“The life of an individual is in many respects like a child’s dissected map. If I could life a hundred years, keeping my intelligence to the last, I feel as if I could put the pieces together until they made a properly connected whole. As it is, I, like all others, find a certain number of connected fragments, and a larger number of disjointed pieces, which I might in time place in their natural connection. Many of these pieces seem fragmentary, but would in time show themselves as essential parts of the whole. What strikes me very forcibly is the arbitrary and as it were accidental way in which the lines of junction appear to run irregularly among the fragments. With every decade I find some new pieces coming into place. Blanks which have been left in former years find their compliment among the undistributed fragments. If I could look back on the whole, as we look at the child’s map when it is put together, I feel that I should have my whole life intelligently laid out before me…”

-Oliver Wendel Holmes. A quotation used at the start of Graham Greene’s Journey Without Maps.
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