A superb description of maps, by Beryl Markham, one of the 20th century’s most intrepid travellers and pilots.
A map in the hands of a pilot is a testimony of man’s faith in other men; it is a symbol of confidence and trust. It is not like a printed page that bears mere words, ambiguous and artful, and whose most believing reader – even whose author, perhaps – must allow in his mind a recess for doubt.
A map says to you, ‘Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not.’ It says, ‘I am the earth in the palm of your hand. Without me, you are alone and lost.’
The earth in the palm of your hand, how about that?
Source: Beryl Markham, West with the Night (London: Virago Press, 2015), p. 254
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