But, you may say, we asked you to give us a cache - what has that got to do with a room of one's own? I will try to explain. When I was asked to speak about Caches and Geocaching I sat down on a rocky outcrop and began to wonder what the words meant. They might mean simply a few remarks about Webguy or Ruffasgutts4x4; a tribute to Team Canary and a sketch of Foundem; a reference to Rainbow Spirit and one would have done. But at second sight the words seemed not so simple. The title Caches and Geocaching might mean, and you might take it to mean, caches and the people who seek them; or it might mean Geocachers and the caches they hide; or it might mean Geocaching and the fiction that is written about it; or it might mean that somehow all three are inextricably mixed together and I should consider them in that light. But when I began to consider the subject in this way, which seemed the most interesting, I soon saw that it had one fatal drawback. I should never be able to fulfil what is, I understand, the first duty of a cache owner - to hand you after a brief discourse a nugget of pure caching experience to wrap up and keep on the mantlepiece forever. All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point - a geocache must have a room of its own if it is to sit in the open like any creature that inhabits the bush.
But the very mention of the bush causes me to digress from the very text that has led me to this point. For I see that the very act of speaking, of composing and communicating is not only the first dictate of the cache owner, but a kind of metonymy, representing the epistemological search for truth itself. To speak, to express - the act of speaking - is to grope in the dark labyrinth of the mind, one idea to another in the search for meaning. And if this is a metaphor for caching, so caching is a metaphor for the great human philosophical endeavours and the grand search for meaning: religious idealism; existential absurdism; the Linnaean impulse to log and quantify; the Cartesian principle of the certainty of the self, not through thought, now, but action:
I cache, therefore I am.
But what has this to do with this cache, this cache that sits in its room in the very open? I have told you of this rocky outcrop whereupon these musings presented to me. And if I talk of Bush, these musings lead my mind, like a butterfly on the wind, from that to thoughts of Burning. Burning Bushes would seem quite Biblical to the secular mind, but I assure you an ontological discussion is not what I seek here, but thoughts of what Burns at the centre. And if you follow that thought, like a road that leads ultimately to where you must seek this cache, you will find there are many tracks the mind can take, paths that cross, leading this way and that, like thought itself. Yet ultimately, if your mind is focussed, you will be drawn steadfastly to a goal; that you may sit in the midst of suburban jungles of the mind, out in the open, yet be alone and unseen. The bush is your room. Your cache awaits you. Look for it where it is in plain sight, yet hidden.
A rocky outcrop. A place for contemplation. What will you find therein?
TO FIND THE CACHE
Make your way to the coordinates stated for this cache. You will find yourself at the end of a road. This is a place many reach in life. But today it is not an end, but a beginning. For at the end of this road, either side, are two houses which shall help to guide you. Each house is the last house on its side before the bush. You will need to discover their house numbers from their letterboxes before you can discover your own inner path.
For the next stage in your journey, take the smaller of these two numbers and make it ABC. Then take the larger of these two numbers and make it DEF. Once you have achieved this, consider the following simple problem.
X = (A+1),(B-5),(C-3)
Y = (D-2),E,F
Now you are ready for the next step on your path to enlightenment. Follow these coordinates, which we shall call the COORDINATES OF THE SECOND STEP:
Here you will find a tree with a plate attached. On this plate are two letters and a number. This plate is your guide to the final place of your journey.
If A =1 and Z = 26, work out the value of each letter appearing on the plate.
Let the number represented by the first letter on the plate = PLATO Let the number represented by the second letter on the plate = LICHTENSTEIN Let the number appearing on the plate = DESCARTES
TO CALCULATE THE FINAL RESTING PLACE OF THE CACHE:
For the South coordinates of GZ, ADD to the SOUTH COORDINATES OF THE SECOND STEP:
PLATO + DESCARTES
For the East coordinates of GZ, SUBTRACT from the EAST COORDINATES OF THE SECOND STEP:
(LICHTENSTEIN * 3) - D
Now follow your way. Be aware that there are drops near GZ. There is no need to do anything dangerous. Think before you act. If the clue doesn't make sense, you might be at the wrong level.
The journey is not long and it is not particularly hard, but at the end you must seek that inner room where all shall be revealed. Not all will find their way, and some will reach their destination and yet not know it. Ultimately, if you contemplate these teachings diligently, however, you shall find your way.