Wednesday, December 24, 2008
"Beyond this point there be Dragons!"
-Old Mapmaker Legend
The Old Mapmakers had a unique way of describing the uncharted
and unknown expanses that lay beyond the Horizon. They would
Symbolically draw a line on the map that indicated the boundary of
the then-known world and inscribe the following:
"Beyond this point there be Dragons!"
This advised the Traveler that the lands and seas beyond this point
were uncharted and contained unknown dangers.
Needless to say, most people heeded the warnings of the
Mapmakers and did not risk Traveling beyond these boundaries.
However, every so often a Seeker would arrive whose curiosity
was too strong to be confined to an arbitrary line drawn by a
These Seekers enthusiastically ventured beyond the limits of
the then-known world, bravely venturing forth into the Realm
of Dragons. In their Quest into the Unknown they not only
encountered unknown dangers (Dragons), they also experienced
the Marvelous and the Wondrous. These Travelers discovered
Treasures both unknown and unimaginable.
As would be expected, these Adventures had a very profound
affect on these Travelers. When they finally did return to their
homeland they returned as a very Changed person. And although
these Travelers enchanted the masses with their tales of danger
and discovery, these masses could never truly understand and
appreciate what these Travelers had experienced and Learned.
A Rift of Experiences had developed between those who ventured
forth and those who remained behind. The "tempered excitements"
experienced by their countrymen who remained at home in no way
compared with the Legendary Adventures these Travelers had
experienced in the Realm of Dragons.
Although still friends, these two groups could never have the same
"bond" that they once shared. Those who stayed behind were just
as comfortable and correct with their Decision as those who
Traveled forth. The big difference was in their experiences. Those
who ventured forth experienced Dragons while those who remained
at home could only imagine Dragons.
Once the Traveler, Seeker, and Wanderer, ventures beyond the
Horizon of Familiarity, their Adventures and experiences change
them forever. And while the Traveler changes dramatically, those
who stay behind remain pretty much unchanged.
And so it is today. Those of us who leave our homeland and venture
forth to new lands, and realms, experience the same Changes in
ourselves that those Ancient Travelers experienced.
As with the Ancient Travelers, we also look forward to returning to
our homeland to enchant our friends and relatives with tales of our
Adventures. And although these people are interested in hearing
tales of "far away places with strange sounding names", their hearts
and minds belong to their "old neighborhood" and familiar friends.
Our Horizons have expanded while theirs have remained the same.
Although both sides are correct in their Decisions, it is we, the
Curious Traveler and Lone Wolf, who experience that discomforting
Melancholy when we return to visit the land of our youth. We
discover what all past Travelers, and Trailblazers, experienced:
that although we can go back "home", we can never return to that
free-spirited Home of our Past that lingers as a fond fairy-tale in the
deep recesses of our mind.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.
© copyright Joseph Panek 2008