Culture is not your friend!
Issue twenty nine – June 1st 2013
My upcoming Birthday brings me back to this special moment in my past – a sweet, yet bitter second that at times seems to have lasted for quite a long while, and at times seems to last to this very day.
When I was a young boy I was fascinated with maps of different places on earth. One of the newspapers was printing them for each weekend edition and I would take the maps and keep them together in my room. I would sit and stare at them, examining the Sahara desert with as much fascination as I would stare into the urban stretching of Europe. Antarctica was a special place for me to wonder about such vast reaches of whiteness, and my love for maps was not limited to topographical ones. I loved the maps that showed me the borders of each country and I loved the maps that showed me the exports and imports of each country, population concentrations and education charts.
That was my life as a seven years old boy until the first time I saw a pictorial description of our solar system. At that moment I forgot all about the different continents of earth and learned all I could about diameters of the different planets and how long does a day last on them. The idea that there is a mass of land (or gas, for that matter) that I can’t visit no matter how hard I try, that was fascinating to me.
My voyage went on. One day, when we were about 14 or so, I visited my friend who showed me a great Atlas book, and before the pages that showed beautiful maps of earth, there were few pages that showed our solar system, our galaxy and different clusters and super clusters of galaxies. I remember gazing into one super cluster, and even as a child I knew that this is just a drawing that doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t look like a specific super cluster and basically it’s just a drawing of a black cloud with various white points in it. Nevertheless, I stared deeply into one of this point, and I remember saying to myself – “I don’t know what place this point represent, I don’t know what is supposed to be over there, and I don’t know how far it is from here, but I would love leaving this world behind and being there, whatever the consequences for this travel are.
Still here, though.