About a year ago a friend gave me one ridiculously comfortable green leather chair, a set of cobalt blue dishes, the 1971 set of Encyclopedia Britannia including the Year in Review and a box of maps.

Early last month I was digging through the maps looking for inspiring collage material when I found a Hammond Traditional Map of the United States. I decided to tape it to my kitchen wall.

When I was Miss Kuntz’s fourth grade class at Northwestern Elementary in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania I sat next to my friend Debbie.  For two nine-year-old girls, Debbie and I had big dreams.  If we weren’t going to be President of the United States, then we at least wanted to be the first women astronauts.  Failing that, I wanted to draw maps.

It was a short-lived phase. By the time I was twelve I dreamed of folk singing stardom and by high school I was going to be a history teacher or maybe even a doctor.

At eighteen I married Bob instead. I studied art and secondary education, which seemed more suitable choices for a mid-western housewife.  But the marriage lasted less than a moment.  On my twentieth birthday I boarded a bus in McCook, Nebraska and headed four hours east. Alone.

Maps still fascinate me. I love looking at the names of towns and wondering about the people who live there.  I love tracing my finger over the places I’ve been and wondering if I’ll ever return.

Last week I stood back and began to connect the dots.  From Fairbanks, Alaska to Killeen, Texas to Lynnport, Pennsylvania.  My eyes followed a trail to all the places I’ve lived.

I couldn’t stop.  I found string and used it to create a geographic cats cradle – my very own constellation.  An energetic imprint of over half a century of experience.

What does your constellation look like?

7 thoughts on “Constellations

    • I really should have a world map so I can include Ireland but I think I’ll just let the string run out to the edge and then add an image of Donegal.


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