Not a Totem but a Memory Map

Map of Childhood - #walkmyworld totem
The current Learning Event for Walk My World is to explore the concept of a “totem” which is an object that connects you to your past, your culture, your family, your sense of self. I’m still thinking of the object but that thinking had me remembering the apartment complex and neighborhood that I grew up in. I used the Paper App to sketch out a Memory Map of where I spent my childhood.

I left out a lot, I realized, but then maps are always filtered experiences, right? The tree fort, the Big Rock (left over from glacier times, or so we were always told), the river, the woods and the bog were all central elements to growing up for me. Alas, the woods and bog are now covered in housing developments, and I did not put the giant fallow farmer’s field in the map, either, which is also now nothing but suburban houses as far as the eye can see.

It’s been years (maybe a decade) since I went back to this neighborhood, and I don’t feel any strong urge to do it now. The Memory Map here helps situate me, and reminds me of stories (falling in the river during an ice storm; getting bonked on the head by a hammer while standing under the tree fort; playing ice hockey on the bog in winter; having crabapple wars in fall) that cling to me as personal history.

Peace (in the map),

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