I’ve been thinking about interactive maps and how easily you can show where you’ve been and/or where you’re going. It triggered a memory from a trip my family took in 1997 when we took the tilt train to Townsville for my cousin’s wedding. It took about 23 hours each way and my sister wasn’t going to let me talk at her for more than a couple of hours so that left me with a lot of thinking time.
I thought, what if I left a trail of red ribbon everywhere I went? Like a snail trail. There would be lots of red ribbon lines around Brisbane, two lines on the train tracks between Brisbane and Townsville and a handful of lines around Townsville. You could tell a lot about me by studying these lines: which clothes store is my favourite, which way I walk to school, which stall I prefer in the bathrooms, how I get from my Japanese classroom to the music block, the quickest route to visit my mum in the primary school staff room. You might even be able to figure out how much piano practice I’d done by measuring the depth of the line running between my bedroom and the piano. (I like the idea of measuring time in centimetres or metres).
I’ve been looking back over some photos I took in Canada. The little map shows me where they were taken and it fairly accurately reflects where we spent most of our time. I think about the two strips of red that stretch over the Pacific Ocean and back. So small and yet so telling.
Since we’ve been living with my parents the red ribbon has been building up around this house, this street, deeper than ever.
I’m so ready to move. To start laying down new tracks.