Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 3: Territory Maps (part a)


Don't know about you but I'm starting to feel a bit hungry. All this talk and nothing to chew, let's order some food, okay? See that boater sitting over there by the seaside wall? The sunset light falls full on her chair - she likes it that way; it sets off her hair and the ring that she wears. That's Francis, she cooks. She also dances whenever she can, but in between times she has a way with mushrooms and squid and anything weird she always keeps hid out of sight underneath the rice. She cooks things nice, makes an empty meal. Fills you right up and it leaves a nice hole in your hunger. Give her a wave and hold up two fingers for you and me. Hey Beau, you hungry? Yeah, I figured so, hold up a finger for Beau Weevil too. There, Francis got the order all right, she's up from her table and moving on through the kitchen door. Won't take too long for her to get back, we'll be eating soon you can bet on that. I'm buying Beau, because of your drawings, a straight up trade, a bite to eat in exchange for the pictures, okay?

How do you feel about boating so far, ready to go for a sail? What you might do the first time you try is to find a place less complicated than the street right outside your house. In the everyday world there are parks and ravines that are quite serene, and when they are seen in a Territory way you'll notice they often contain a calm lake or the wide easy curve of a bay. And out in a park is a natural place to sail or paddle a boat. People in parks tend to do what they please. Jogging and soccer and frisbee and kites, it's all just as strange as boating is, right?

Practice a while in the wide, easy water you'll find in the nearby park. Learn to paddle and move with your crew. Work together and hoist up a sail, roll a few poles till the whole thing seems as easy as it is. Soon you'll begin to see the shape of the water you're practising in. See how the curve of the bay seems to flow with the line of the trees or the way the sidewalk becomes a beach at the edge of the park. Look for other features as well. See some small buildings along the shore that forms the bay? They might be rocks so you'd best stay away. An empty wading pool is often the place where a whirlpool spins. It can suck you in, but it's also exciting to swirl around before spinning back out to sea again. See that playground with climbers and swings? It might be a port where the steamers come in to dock. If you find a nice beach in a secluded cove you might choose to land for a snooze or a picnic.

See what's happening? The park is beginning to disappear and you're starting to see it as Territory. There's more going on than you thought at first underneath and inside the form of the park. The best way to find out exactly what's what is to boat in your boat and let it float wherever it takes you. You'll find yourself moving in unexpected ways that arise from sailing the water and waves. When you've had a good session messing around in the bay you've discovered hidden in the park, take some time to sit down on land and draw a picture of what you've just seen. Put in the docks and the rocks and the ports, sort out the buoys and lighthouses too.

This is a new kind of map you've just made. It's a Territory map and it's not the same as the ones you've been using in the everyday way in the everyday world. It hasn't been described to you and it's not even you describing what you've seen. It's the Territory itself as it acts through you. Now the Territory isn't the same as what you've drawn. But if I and another boater came along and boated your bay on some other day and if we had your Territory map along it would help us to see in our own single way the Territory just as it is. That isn't to say that we'd see a whirlpool the very same way as you. But if your Territory map was true and sincerely drawn from your boater's view, and if my partner and I really acted as if we believed that your whirlpool whirled, we'd have to agree that we'd seen the same thing that you saw only different. The whirlpool on your map is merely a way for you to say "Here lies something and if you act as if you believe a whirlpool is there you might be able to see that something."

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