What swells inside me is a love so boundless, I am the sunrise and sunset. I am Liberty Bell in the Cascades. I am Beihai Lake. I am every beautiful, truly beautiful, thing I've ever seen, captured in my personal Geographia, the atlas of myself.
But my motivation was more a matter of wanting to create order - to keep track of things. All those boxes full of photographs and sketches weigh you down, because they have something unfinished, incomplete, about them. So it's better to present the usable material in an orderly fashion and throw the other stuff away. That's how the Atlas came to be, and I exhibited it a few times.
When you stir your rice pudding, Septimus, the spoonful of jam spreads itself round making red trails like the picture of a meteor in my astronomical atlas. But if you stir backwards, the jam will not come together again. Indeed, the pudding does not notice and continues to turn pink just as before. Do you think this is odd?
If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?" I…don't know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?" To shrug.
One young woman's tribute describes unwrapping her cadaver's hands and being brought up short by the realization that the nails were painted pink. "The pictures in the anatomy atlas did not show nail polish", she wrote. "Did you choose the color? Did you think that I would see it? I wanted to tell you about the inside of your hands. I want you to know you are always there when I see patients. When I palpate an abdomen, yours are the organs I imagine. When I listen to a heart, I recall holding your heart.
I suspect losing paper maps but gaining GPS and online maps is a similar step function: maps still exist, but they're vastly more useful, not to say permanently up to date, in their new form. Again, I won't be shedding any tears, but I'll keep a paper road atlas in the back of my car for another few years, I think, Just In Case.
On my tenth birthday a bicycle and an atlas coincided as gifts, and a few days later I decided to cycle to India...However, I was a cunning child so I kept my ambition to myself, thus avoiding the tolerant amusement it would have provoked among my elders.
The Revelation of Sonmi 451 To be is to be perceived, and so to know thyself is only possible through the eyes of the other. The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds, that go on and are pushing themselves throughout all time. - Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.