The Zoey Blog: Where the streets have no names... FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where the streets have no names...


At 6 am this morning I heard the term "les chemins du désir" or in plain old non italic English..."pathways of desire". It sounded, well, kinda sexy, until you realize that it's in reference to the unusual pathways made by us when we eschew what the planners of space and concrete have laid out for us and have gotten busy creating our own, out of both convenience and desire. Not so sexy then, but cool as hell, I think. Even without the sexy tag there's still an undeniable element of gut strong affection for such an notion. There doesn't seem to be anything that is any more innately animal than finding our own way and then finding that it has established itself as a standard amoungst all of the animals in the so-called jungle (that's symbolism right there) all on it's city planner just is. I don't now about you but I like that. There's a magical freedom in that phenomenon.

If I lost you immediately after the stupid french words, what I'm talking about is the basic path worn into the grass...the shortcut. It doesn't seem like it deserves all that much attention does it, but it does. There is something so elemental to us all as human beings about the practice of ditching the prescribed and doing it yourself. It's why Dad builds an addition onto the's why Mom couldn't give you the recipe for her meatloaf. It's why you went to this college when everyone you know went to that one. It's why whenever your parents called John's house because they needed you home right away, and since you'd already left and were walking home they thought they could just meet you halfway and chuck you into the car on the way to grandmas... but they coudn't find you walking down Dora or Hilda, or Greenbriar Trail even...They couldn't find you on Dundas Street, or Park or Main Street or Margaret either. They wondered where the hell their kid was if he had just left John's house and was headed home. They couldn't find you because you cut through the Optimist Park off of Larkwood Street and then scooted back near the First Baptist Church on your way up through Steinhoff Park and maybe they could have caught you crossing the Dundas bridge because it was the only way across the river but they sure weren't going to have any clue that you you scooted through every backstreet north of Dufferin Ave and then cut behind the high school on that well worn path beside the football field and out onto Selkirk Street before sneaking onto Colwell and walking past five houses from the corner and up the gravel driveway only to see no car and find no family. They were out looking for you, you know, trying to speed up the process of you getting home. They had no idea who Gaston Bachelard was or why that crazy french philosopher even gave a shit about "les chemins du désir." They'd never walked that walk themselves and so had no concept of how much easier it was following your path than the one city planners laid out. They were paths that weren't designed but eroded casually away by people finding the shortest distance between where they are coming from and where they intend to go. Pathways of's what made you late for dinner at Gramfufu's that day when no one could find you.

"Les chemins du désir," a pretty cool idea huh? Every single one of us is familiar with them. Just Google'll see exactly what I'm talking about...

It is an urban legend on many college campuses that many sidewalks and pathways were not planned at all, but paved by the university after students created their own paths from building to building, straying from those originally prescribed. Cool huh? I love it. I hope Zoey's whole life is full of "les chemins du désir."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like that........B

November 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

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