Ishmael | Robin Sparks


Five years ago I ended up in San Francisco just 40 miles from where I’d been born. The City By the Bay was to be the nest from which I would take exploratory flights in search of a nifty nest abroad. Oh, but how I dug my talons in, trying with all my might to put off that final flight.

But the doors shut anyway. And excuses fell flat, like shuffled cards.

Not that I wanted to cancel or anything. In another year I’d be wondering why I hesitated. I knew the routine by now. Still…

It is almost time to go.

In a successful attempt at idomatic expression in her second language, my French housemate said, “Robin, time to sheet o get awf d’ poht.”

Meanwhile, I started reading a new book today…

In the story, “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn, a guru gorilla says to his student hu-man,
“‘According to your maps, the world of thought…ends at the border of your culture and if you venture beyond that border, you simply fall off the edge of the world.” And then he promises, ‘Tomorrow, we’ll screw up our courage and cross that border. And as you’ll see, we will not fall off the edge of the world. We’ll just find ourselves in new territory.”

The media guru Marshall McLuhan said the same thing more tersely: Once you can see the boundaries of your environment, they are no longer the boundaries of your environment.'”

More tomorrow…


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