If it's Monday, it must be time to shut up and let someone else talk for a minute.

My husband rarely reads my blog.
He does get overcome by guilt now and then

and will tackle an entire month at a time, even though I assure him that I'm best taken in small doses (an unnecessary piece of advice, since he would certainly know this from living with me for 28 years).

In his defense, he is incredibly busy

and spends so much time on the computer at work that he hardly wishes to spend time on the one at home. And since I bombard him with every idea in my head at sometime or other, why should he have to boot up and slog through my blog for a replay?

My oldest daughter never looks at my blog either, and is occasionally embarrassed and apologetic about that fact, despite my offering complete absolution.   I'm certain she has heard every word I will ever think of to say.  Probably twice.

My middle daughter reads my ramblings dutifully and even leaves kind comments from time to time.  She and I are kindred spirits in our love of the personal essay, and both harbor the desire to be memoir writers when we grow up.
(One of us may still have a chance.)

My baby daughter read my blog while she was away at college, which I attribute to homesickness, and I was glad to be able to throw that lifeline. But now that she lives with me day in and day out, it would appear that she hears enough motherly blabbing in the natural course of things.

I only tell this you because for years I have postponed my career as a writer out of fear that I might offend important people in my life (about whom I must write).

I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the cast of characters, since I believe most of us would put many of the same people in our play.  But I suppose that it suddenly being 2010 (and finding myself to be 46 years old) should shock me into this realization:

time's-a-wastin' and perhaps I should stop postponing the things that are important to me.

After all, the aforementioned scientific evidence would suggest that, statistically speaking, there's a good chance most of the family might never read the things I write after all . . . right?

Anyway, I bumped into my youngest daughter in the kitchen last night as she was washing paint brushes and she told me of a conversation she'd had with her sister about "desire paths". And (lucky for me) she'd been inspired to write about them.

Desire paths?

Just the name makes me want 
to lace up my sneakers.

I was unfamiliar with the concept of "desire paths" (those places where people wear a path cutting across the grass, for instance)  but am now intrigued by the idea and will have to explore it further.

In the meantime, in hopes that some of the people close to me will find it a delightful reprieve if I cease blabbing for a moment . . . I'd like to share with you Hannah's musings about the idea, from her blog "I Paint My Own Reality."

The first Small Works Guest Blogger, I suppose.

Another good idea that I should explore further . . .

Desire Paths

Architecture does its best to plan for the many directions people want to travel. With sidewalks, hallways, walkways and many other features to ease the process of getting from place to place, architects subtly guide people through the paths of their own intentions. But unfortunately for those careful mathematicians, people do not always stick to the carefully kept path or sidewalk.

Desire paths. We have all seen and used them. When we cut across a lawn or round a square corner, we are creating a path: one not subject to the intentions of an architect but a path formed from our desire to get somewhere in a way design, or land, does not intend for us to go. 

Your homework now is to seek out the desire paths around you, to find them and appreciate just why they are there.

I have long believed in the notion that sidewalks are oppressive, but was never quite sure why I felt this way. Sure, sidewalks are easy, but is easy and accessible always best? Do I want to always follow the docile path created for me? No. I most certainly do not. I have a rebellious spirit in me, that distinctly dislikes being told where to go and what to do. This is sometimes to my detriment, but I have learned to embrace the good things this has given me. 

This independence has helped me form of my life my own desire path. I know where I want to go, and I know how I want to get there, and though it may feel like I am working against the current right now, I know that I am headed in the right direction.

And along my path, I will leave my many marks, because I want to be surrounded by more than a cement sidewalk. 

Here are some recent marks along my path:

Thanks for letting us follow you 
for a few steps, Hannah . . .

(and keep blazing your wonderful trail!) 


VO said...

Desire paths: figuratively and emotionally. Loved the guest blogging and the glimpse into her desire path.

Always explore the path, blaze your own way.

Allie said...

GREAT post!

VO said...

Hey, love the new look too!

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, VO -- I have Chelsea to thank for that. I was pretty excited when I saw the header she came up with -- if you put me in a blender and then spread me on the monitor, I believe that's just what I'd look like.

luanne said...

Dagnabbit! Seeing your beautiful new banner & wider format makes my blogself feel very frumpy. Another project for the to-do list...

Also I've been pondering "desire paths" since you introduced me to the term yesterday. Hannah's post was very thought provoking. Props to all you creative Hinckley women!

susan m hinckley said...

LuAnne, LuAnne . . . what are you talking about? Your blog is one of the beautiful joneses that I wish I could keep up with!

I think I'll end up liking the wide format, however, although it will take some time to get used to editing with it. I'm already spending an inordinate amount of time swearing at the new "blogger editor" (which I hate), so now I should set up my new computer on top of it all and get all my frustrations over with in January!

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