Just behind Bastion Point in Auckland ,and up the hill by the marae, sits a trig station.
One of thousands over the country ,on often high vantage points ,acting as geodetic reference points. Once, and sometimes still used by surveyors for precise bearings of latitude and longitude.
It caught my eye this morning, with its stark black and white markings against the cobalt blue sky.
As a child I thought they were totally cool and somewhat mysterious. Maybe aliens had planted them there.To ascend to the top of a hill and then clamber up the trig was to be lord of all you surveyed(excuse the pun).
A symbol, a signifier, a marker. Like a compass, objectively true.
Sometimes its enough to know exactly where you stand…
This large ceramic compass sits in the foyer of a building I work in.
I love compasses and their myriad designs. I also love the way they tell the truth.
Without the compass I would only be guessing where, say ,north was outside the building. If I stepped outside, my sense of direction would be coloured by the street angle or the positioning of a building, and after dusk the sun’s absence would make matters way worse. I might have a good idea where north is but I can never be entirely accurate.
In life we have feelings that come to us and hunches we rely on. Sometimes real or right,other times false.
The first question I try to pose to myself in those moments is like taking a compass bearing: “Is it true?”.
If not,then I may move on from that thing, or maybe choose to sit with the unknown for awhile.
If yes,then I can ask myself the subsidiary questions: What? Where? When? What? How? and Why? And then take action, based on reality.