Connecting the World with Maps and Music

Today is the last day of  Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand. The main theme of the week is Connect which is one of the five ways of achieving, and maintaining,   Well-Being , for each and every one of us.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know how fascinated I am with connections and connectedness;   how I love  to see the weavings we make in the tapestry of our world. So, with the theme of Connect very much on my mind this week, here is another post dedicated to the silken threads, delicate stitches, the warps and wefts, the skilful hands and minds, that bind us together on the great work-in-progress that is life’s journey.

Remember the Atlas? What we used before Google Maps. Here is my copy of  Bartholomews Advanced Atlas of Modern Geography, Tenth (metric) Edition, published in 1973.

Tools that connect the world

Tools that connect the world

It was given to me, as a school prize, in my final year at high school, (presumably for Geography; the book-plate is missing, so I no longer know ).  It is a beautiful book and was, once, much used. Mostly, it sits idly on the bookshelf, these days, which is a shame because it is full of wonderful information and exquisite workmanship, every bit as fine as that which is found in a Gallery masterpiece.

The last map in the Atlas is of New Zealand, which seems an appropriate placement for a small country, almost at the end of the world. Here is where I live;  Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, the World…….

Christchurch

Christchurch

Thanks to early settler, Charles Alured  Jeffreys (1821-1904) of Glandyfi, Machynlleth, Wales,

Machynlleth and Plynlimon and Cader Idris

Machynlleth and Plynlimon and Cader Idris

my city , supposedly, has the most street names of Welsh origin of any  New Zealand settlement. In the suburb of Bryndwr, we have the names Snowdon, Garreg, Plynlimon, Idris and Penhelig and Glandovey ( Glandyfi). And we  pronounce those place names in ways that no Welsh speaker would recognise. Curiously, the only residents of our city who pronounce Idris correctly, (so I am told), are those with Islamic or Coptic  backgrounds. They say “Id (t)ris” and we, of British ancestry,  say Aye tdruss. What the Cader Idris/Coptic/Islamic connection is about, I don’t know, but Idris is one of the   Ancient Prophets of Islam, and may also be Enoch of the Bible.

It is, perhaps, because I see  Welsh words on a daily basis

Plynlimon Park, Christchurch, is no Mountain

Plynlimon Park, Christchurch, is no Mountain

that my ears and eyes were alerted to the sounds and sights of Mike Howe’s blog, where Mike shares with us the true landscape of Wales; the landscape which our early Welsh resident, Mr Jeffreys, tried  so hard to impose on his raw, new homeland, Christchurch.

Here is Mike’s tribute to Carl Sagan, who like the Idris of Wales and Idris the Prophet was a philosopher and man of wisdom . The music is called Pale Blue Dot.

The images in the video clip are from Skomer Island which my Atlas says is here 🙂

Skomer Island

Skomer Island

Mike’s music may come from hands and heart, enfolding and unfolding the spirit of Wales, but, for me, his music travels; it has no boundaries. For me, some music is about a place or time, a memory or an emotion, but my favourite pieces are those that travel; pieces that are music for the journey.

Another of my favourite composers of  travelling music is Mulatu Astatke; this composition is called When am I going to get there? 

And now I have; got there; to the end of my post on connectedness. Has your Well-Being improved? If not, and my route around the world has been too long for you,  look to my side bar, and rest, whilst you listen to Mike’s soothing Time Stand Stills.

© silkannthreades

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50 thoughts on “Connecting the World with Maps and Music

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      So glad you found me 🙂 Now you can take out your own map and have another look at my part of the world. Where may I find you on my atlas; in a general sense of course?

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Isn’t it a strange old world?! There is a family story that my great grandfather had a connection with Wales but I have searched and searched and cannot find that connection.

      Reply
      1. Clanmother

        Keep looking – I’m certain you will find it. This year, I’m going to try to find my connection back to Scotland. Should be interesting…

        Looking forward to comparing notes.

        Reply
  1. pleisbilongtumi

    This is very interesting, Galivanta. 20 or 25 years ago I met a nice girl (same age as mine) She was from Christchurch and we traveled together here on Java and Bali for 12 days. At every after dinner we used to have long conversation, exchanging many things about each own country. Now the map on this post reminds me to those memories. Thank you for nice writing. Well done !

    Reply
  2. tiny lessons blog

    Soothing post with beautiful images and music. I’ve also found music to be an effective connector between people across cultures and geographies, used to play with local musicians in the places we’ve lived in. It’s also great to be connected to you, my friend, on the “other side of the world”!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I thought you would be pleased with me 🙂 A plus for me; and A plus for the Professor. Now let’s see if I can remember how to do this next week 😀

      Reply
  3. Forest So Green

    My internet connection seems to have a mind and a will of its own and sometimes refuses to connect. I have a World Atlas that I look at often, especially since I started blogging. My sister struggles with mental health. It is truly a struggle. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, internet connections can be very mysterious at times! I think I will keep my Atlas handy now too. Sometimes it can be easier finding locations in an Atlas than via Google Maps. I am glad we can connect about mental health struggles. We all need to support each other to live the best lives we can.

      Reply
  4. Mrs. P

    You hit the trifecta with this post. I love maps, all kinds…old an new. As a teen I would spend hours flipping through the transparencies that some atlases included…the ones that showed the changes in the political boundaries through the centuries.

    And there is nothing more therapeutic than music to calm ones soul…added to that, for me are pictures which seem to pull me out of the darkness with their ability to let me be somewhere else. Mike’s pictures are a stunning and beautifully compliment his music. He should include more of them in his posts (hint…hint, Mike). 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t had the privilege of reading a map with transparencies but I can imagine what fun they must be. Did you have your own atlas at school? I think I did. It was something that was always in your desk along with pencils and ruler and eraser. I had a lot of fun looking through my special atlas in preparation for my post. Mike’s music/photo combinations are lovely. He also does fascinating work in conservation management and shares some of those adventures too.

      Reply
      1. Mrs. P

        Sadly, I had to share an atlas with the rest of my classmates but we did have a set of encyclopedias at home that also had transparencies which I browsed through on many occasions.

        I did notice that Mike was involved in some conservation of some property, I believe 80 acres. I didn’t have time to read the whole post but it was quite interesting, at least the part I read.

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you! Being connected and staying connected is so important for everyone, but the subject was very much on my mind this week because I have so many friends (and also family) who struggle with mental health issues; it can be so isolating.

      Reply
    2. mixedupmeme

      I do have the same perspective as ladysighs. 🙂
      You can find mental health issues on every world map. Fortunately in many places the problem is being looked at in new ways. And the treatments too. I shudder to think of the cures or lack of hundreds of years ago …. even fifty years ago.

      Loved both videos. I still am asking the question when am I going to get there. And also…where am I going? 😦

      Reply
      1. Gallivanta Post author

        It seems that you and ladysighs have a lot in common 🙂 And, yes, shudder, shudder, about former methods of treatment. Where am I going? and When am I going to get there? are questions that bounce up every day I think. They never seem satisfied with the answer you gave yesterday or the day before, even though they may pretend they are temporarily happy with your response. Maybe we should try chucking the atlas at them next time they whine!!!! They might say,’ Hey, check out Hawaii; it looks good”. 😉

        Reply
  5. YellowCable

    My well being has improved. The post is a good Sunday morning reading. Looking back, I could not imagine “connecting” has much greater meaning and impacts to every day life of nearly everyone. It virtually replaces Altlas or maps (paper form) these days.

    The images from “Pale Blue Dot” are so gorgeous. The music is fantastic. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, it almost does, but I am surprised by how much I enjoyed reconnecting with the old Atlas. It was like meeting an old friend again after a long absence. So much to remember and so much to talk about. Glad you enjoyed a pleasant Sunday morning reading my post and enjoying Mike’s music.

      Reply
  6. coulda shoulda woulda

    sorry if my comment is doubled but I seemed to have lost it. But I was just saying I love maps too! Funny because as a former Melbourne girl where a lot of names are derived from Scotland I did have a funny reaction when visiting Scotland because I thought hang on that’s the same name as some suburb in my Aussie hometown! Only to realize seconds later that the Scottish place was the original place. But I prefer the Aussie St Kilda as opposed to the Scottish one to be honest.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, yes; it’s so weird. We have lots of places around Christchurch with names related to India. Until about a decade ago, I didn’t really associate them with anywhere else than Christchurch (says she, who won a Geography Prize!) And, of course, the settlers were so busy putting their stamp on the land, that it was only this last week, that the Maori names for the North and South Island were rightfully and officially recognised!!! We have a St Kilda’s in our southern city of Dunedin!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, in the Atlas there was a paragraph about the way the military uses maps. I didn’t quite understand it all, at a quick glance,but I thought it interesting that it was important enough to mention in the Atlas.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, thank you. That is a lovely thing to say. Yes, there are inner maps and mind maps and road maps.. so many maps that it should be easy to know where we are going…just that sometimes, we pick up the wrong map or temporarily lose the map we have. Mr Jeffreys eventually decided that he was on the wrong side of the world and found his way back to Wales. His family “castle’ is now a B&B. His estate here is covered in suburbia 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am so pleased you were willing to let me feature your music. My side bar came out well too, which was good. I am just learning how to do all these little tricks 🙂 Some of us haven’t graduated to fixing a car yet; we are still only at the figuring-out-WordPress-stage.

      Reply
      1. Mike Howe

        Hey you’re way ahead of me on the wordpress thing, and you’ve already shown us through your blogs that you have any number of skills we mortals don’t possess 🙂

        Reply

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