A while back I wrote about some maps that I had started making. Now it’s hard for me to imagine having an especially good day or going through a rough spot and not mapping it out afterward. It helps me to cement the experience in my memory, make sense of things after the fact, hold on to the good stuff and review any lessons learned. Most of my maps are just pencil sketches. They are definitely more about the process than the product. At one point I set aside a special sketchbook for them, now they wind up everywhere, on napkins, receipts etc. Some chart my movements and some are about my thoughts. This week’s prompt from Illustration Friday is the word trail so I decided to see what would happen if I finished out a few. Above is a map of my meanderings through a museum. Nothing in these maps is to scale. If it felt like it took a long time to get from point A to point B then the line is long, if time flew then the line is short. If the experience was easy and free then the line is loopy. Sharp zigzags represent tension. Sometimes a zigzag is good tension or excitement, sometimes not so good, anxiety.
Here is a map of a conversation that I recently had with my 15 year old daughter. I knew something was bothering her, but she didn’t want to talk about it. It was “none of my business”. It’s hard to see your child worried or upset. At her age I feel it is important to let her decide whether or not she wants to discuss something with me. We’ve been talking A LOT about privacy lately. This video from the American Library Association should be required viewing for all teens and tweens, heck everybody should watch it. In this map the circle represents the issue and the loops are the conversation around it. For my own peace of mind I needed to be sure she and her friends were safe, and that she really didn’t want to talk about it. It’s hard to know sometimes. So I asked some questions, then let the conversation veer off onto other subjects. (As is often the case, we revisited the topic later after the dust settled. Everything and everybody is fine and it really was none of my business, whew!)