Old Maps

Clothing optional Hollyhock, Cortes Island, B.C.

“It is a strange and wonderful fact to be here, walking around in a body, to have a whole world within you and at your fingertips outside you. It is an immense privilege, and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here.
Rilke said, ‘Being here is so much,’ and it is uncanny how social reality can deaden and numb us so that the mystical wonder of our lives goes totally unnoticed.
We are here. We are wildly and dangerously free.”

John O’Donohue   quote from Anam Cara


 Old Maps

Just over a year ago I posted one of my favorite Joyce Rupp poems   “Old Maps No Longer Work” on this site.

For reasons that are still a mystery to me, the link ended up at the top of the search list on Google for that poem. Every day since,  at least one person somewhere in the world read it on the site. The constant attention given to the piece prompted me to reread it many times over the last year.  Each reading took me deeper into understanding what it meant to be ‘off map’ or ‘mapless’.

As the decade comes to a close I feel compelled to let go of some of my “well travelled paths” with gratitude to where the twists and turns of life have led me but
now “It is time for the pilgrim in me to travel in the dark” and “wait for the stars.”

For the next year when I find myself at the inevitable crossroads we all have to face in life, I will repeat the following lines:

The Map is not the Territory. When Map and Terrain differ, follow the Terrain.”

Wishes for a New Year of Peace and Understanding.


 “We are here. We are wildly and dangerously free

©westcoastwoman 2019







18 thoughts on “Old Maps

  1. Yes, it worked. I googled the poem and it took me directly to your site, Janet. Imagine the power of the internet to follow a voice. This is a particularly poignant piece and I thank you for sharing it again and again. Very appropriate as we consider the new year approaching. The year of 20/20 thinking perhaps? Happy New Year to you and yours! 💕Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you and yours also Marilyn….the internet is a huge mystery to me how my post got there and the many people who have read it. I love your thought
      the year of 20/20 thinking, I do indeed feel that even if we resist, this new decade is going to take us to a places that we will also see with 20/20 vision.


    1. Thank you Rachel. Earlier I was reading the piece Watt had written and when I got to the second stanza it only took me a few lines to realize it was your writing. A wonderful duet. The creativity and emotion that you convey both separately and when you work together is magic.
      Happy New Year……


    1. Thank you and Health Happiness and Peace to you in return. Thanks also for hosting the “6” and always being Inspiring and inclusive.
      My instincts tell me this year we may all be spending some time ‘off map’ intended or otherwise.:)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelaide…..I read your first comment on the Rumi poem earlier and was tidying up and pondering how to respond. It came to me that I would suggest that you read the post on “Old Maps No Longer Work” that I posted last night. I came back to the computer to write to you and found this response.
      All good things to you in this New Year. I have a feeling there will be more and more of us travelling ‘mapless’ as we slowly make our way into this new and probably challenging new decade.


  2. Thought you’d be interested in another ‘google search’ of this beautiful poem. And you reminded me that sometimes it’s not our choice to “travel in the dark.” Or maybe it’s not our choice to BE in the dark; traveling, though, is an option. And stars—there are always stars.❤️🙏💫


    Liked by 1 person

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