Commentary – Sail the course of Truelove River

Chris Clegg

There are some days when it becomes an editor or reporter’s turn to write the commentary in this space that there are simply no great ideas.

So I began to read a few items hoping to find some inspiration for that next great piece. I love looking at maps and old almanacs. I have a few at home I am always flipping pages through.

One interesting item is a map of the Truelove River. It was copyrighted in 1913, author unknown.

According to Wikipedia, all I can find out about it is “reminiscent of other emotional cartography in a previous post, namely the A German Map of the Empire of Love. However, whereas that map portrays love as any one of several different, static areas, the Truelove River presents love as a process in constant change, leading to a certain goal.”

You can find it for yourself but I will attempt to explain it to you.

Distance is measured in loversmiles. One’s journey begins on the Fancy Free Plateau. It makes sense. A young, carefree man or woman seeking love. Overlooking the river at its start is the Mountain of Melancholy, a time of innocence.

As one’s journey [search] for love begins, he slips over the Falls of Dislike into the Valley of Disdain. Evasion Rapids are a treacherous part of the course before one reaches Pity Blend. After a broken relationship, aren’t we all looking for that!

Onward the person sails to Misery Marsh but things start to look up after they leave and encounter Friendship Corner. A new relationship! As one proceeds, things are looking very rosy at Tenderness Crossing and Kissing Fjord. All this is symbolic of a blossoming relationship. Ah, beautiful! Truelove River proceeds into the Vale of Contentment and Sentimental Meadow, where the grass is green and the living easy. What could go wrong?

However, danger is on the horizon and this relationship is not a bed of roses. Every relationship has its ups and downs. We come to Opposition Bend and Angryshire just before Separation Deep in the river.

It gets worse. Correspondence Outlet and Rich Rival Bend are other hazards one must encounter. Despair Marsh is next and Sick Bed.

What is one to do but keep trying? There is a sympathetic ear. Overlooking this treacherous part of Truelove River is Sinking Fathersheart Mountain. Anyone who is a father needs no explanation. Or mother, for that matter.

But in this happy ending saga, one proceeds near the end after navigating Bannshire toward the village of Convalescence and Nameday. One is near the end as they enter License Channel and Altar Bay. Of course, Altar Bay is flanked by Ring Cape. When leaving Altar Bay, one sails into Honeymoon Island before entering the Sea of Matrimony.

And if you don’t know which direction you are going, look for the heart which directs you north, south, east or west. Don’t people always tell you, “Follow your heart?”

The symbolism found along Truelove River is a very accurate portrayal of relationships. There will be days filled with sunshine, days filled with rain and clouds.

But no matter how much rain falls, remember it fills the river so you get sail toward the Sea of Matrimony.

Man, it was slow this week. What a bunch of mush! I can’t believe I wrote this!


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