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Kubler, A. (2006). From the Editor. Fort Da, 12(2):1-3.

(2006). Fort Da, 12(2):1-3

From the Editor

Alan Kubler, Ph.D.

Getting from one place to another is never easy when you are away from home. I was out of town; the car equipped with the global-positioning satellite technology offered me the security of not getting me lost on these unfamiliar stretches of road. The device, with its eight buttons and touch control responsiveness, intimidates and inspires confidence simultaneously — sure, there is a delay of seconds while it orients itself to your needs, but it's still much faster than the unfolding of the paper map that you brought along. Any worries that you are placing yourself in the hands of a machine are immediately comforted by the soft-spoken female voice that informs you of the upcoming left turn and all the subsequent turns. But, on this day the destination is unknown to the GPS; it is an out-of-the-way place, unincorporated and not yet mapped by technology; it can get me to within a few miles of my destination; “X” marks the spot. The map ends and the screen goes blank; the pointer on the screen is suspended as if in space, floating and uncontained by the lines of roadways or the symbols of fast food restaurants. We are in the country and finally lost.

For today's walk it is important to be lost. Rambling often involves getting lost, not the lost you read about in search-and-rescue stories of the wilderness but a different kind — one would always be lost somewhere; the tell-tale signs of humanity present or past would inevitably show up to provide solace or company but rarely to direct or position. The ramble required leaving the car or bus parked somewhere; a turnstile invited the curious. What was on the other side of the hedgerow? Possibly a path wending its way somewhere. The map purchased from the grocery store at the village suggests that this is indeed a path. The map has been assembled from generations of walkers, some traveling to market, some to escape, or others merely exploring, but all tried to note their travels. The path has probably moved many times but this seems to be it for now. The path inevitably approaches the forest tentatively, the certainty of its direction succumbing to the undergrowth and overhanging branches.

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