The Intersection of Human Yearning and Solitude.
This reminded me of the story about the design of UC Irvine. The founding chancellor, Dan Aldrich, had the circular center of the campus ringed by a paved path but no paved paths were placed crosswise so that the first and subsequent students could create their own paths (from building to building). The perfect metaphor for what all college student should do.
I never knew what these were called. So fascinating to think about this as a figurative concept. It makes me think of “A Room of One’s Own” when Woolf (or her imagined narrator) strays from the path only to be placed back on it by the Beadle. And then of course there is Frost and “The Road Not Taken.” These aren’t merely bifurcations here but do offer this sense of choice.
Thanks so much for this. I shall keep pondering it and try to experience one soon!
Desire paths, or every engineer’s silent way of saying, “fixed that for you.” 😂
During the pandemic there were many new desire paths made in our local park, by people needing to keep their distance. They were often in parallel, which made me think they were made by friends wanting to still be able to walk and talk.
I like the idea of a new park having no paths and letting the people decide where one should be.
The desire path sounds like a wonderful place to be.
Desire paths... So romantic. I think I've forged a couple in my life. I may have followed a few as well.
So that's how it is called! Now my life starts to make sense ))
Seriously speaking though, is it possible that the reasoning behind one person's choice for a desire path is twofold: longing for authenticity and connection + desire for individuality and autonomy? Or, one reason will eventually evolve into another?
PS: I think my morning coffee was too strong...
Wow. Just wow. I've never thought of anything like that when I see or even walk on desire paths. Now I'm gonna start being reminded of this essay when I come across one. I love and thank you for this!
This was beautiful. I long to write as concisely yet fulsomely as you do 💛
Great subject and well addressed, a concept that sniffs of evolution selection.
There is, however, the dark side, those who enter the opposite of a one way street, jay walk or simply cut access across the corner house’s front lawn.
War battles are often won or lost by desired paths taken. Almost every restaurant parking lot has a desired path to the front entry but the gardener is not pleased. A good engineer designs paths that intuitively follow desired paths.