Way back, back further even than before time of your future dreams, there was a Map Maker who was regarded as finest maker of maps in city. His maps were known throughout land, and people would travel for many days to have a map prepared by Map Maker.
One day, a foreign dignitary visited Map Maker's shop, and at dignitary's request Map Maker prepared him most exquisite of maps made of finest parchment, with rarest inks. The Map Maker worked late into night, ignoring mealtimes and calls for bed. In morning, dignitary called to pick up map as arranged and he was delighted.
Reverently he unrolled map out on Map Maker's desk. Beneath their eyes desert lands unfurled in gold, while green-brown forests and white peaked mountains lay before them. Delicate lines marked out contours, latitudes and longitudes, and exquisite letters showed locations of towns, villages and cities.
"Map Maker" said dignitary, pointing to a deep blue river on map, "tell me of this area here".
"Sire" replied Map Maker "I know not of these areas I draw. My maps are drawn from words and maps of others who have gone before me." And he took dignitary to a room at back of shop that contained books from travellers, hand drawn maps, sketches, and all manner of paper and record.
The dignitary hid his disappointment well, but soon after he left, Map Maker began to hear disturbing stories. That people were saying that they could not trust his work. Saying, that if he simply put together his maps from other peoples work then however fine they were, how could anyone guarantee their accuracy? How could anyone who used them know that they would simply not get lost?
Over weeks, he noticed a slowing down of business, until his customers had almost stopped coming in their entirety. Now, this sorely vexed Map Maker, for not only was this how he made his living, but he was a deeply proud man, proud of both his art and his reputation. And it pained him to core of his being that his maps might not actually be as good as he had always believed them to be. So he resolved to discard his work and to discard his books and his drawings, and venture out into world himself, and learn his art again anew.
So, he sold his shop, his fine pens and his parchments. He sold his rare ink and his gold leaf, his books, papers and records. With proceeds from sale, he paid of his servants and was about to put remaining money in single bag he had packed for his journeys when he had a thought. This thought came unbidden, and he knew not from where, but it seemed important to him somehow.
"If I am to start out anew then I must go out into world as much as a new born child as I am able. Only then will I be able to immerse myself deep in my art".
And so he gave remainder of his money to a beggar outside shop, and he left his shop and he left his city. As he walked passed city gates with only his clothes and his bag he turned back to look, and it seemed to him as if he was leaving a strange place.
Many days he wandered and there was much fear in his heart, for he had no maps to guide him now. But many days there was much joy too, as he took to sketching with simple pencils and paper he had brought with him for task of relearning his art. And sometimes he measured, and drew maps, and sometimes he just sat, deep in a silence. And it would seem to him afterward, that it was at these times that he was most deeply immersed in his art, and that it was in this inner sense of silence that he learned most.
As he learned to survive, to trade his physical labour or his skills as an artist for food, days when he felt fear grew less, and days when he felt joy, grew more. He came to know pleasure of rain on his skin, soft sound of birdsong as sun rose in mornings. He came to learn ache of muscles worked hard during a long day. He came to appreciate bright crispness of a winter's day, newborn colours of spring, warm joy of summer and red-gold quiescence of autumn. He discovered joys of a simple welcome and of hospitality, of a giving and receiving, motivated only by a common humanity.