Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We Don't Need Roads - Or Do We?

Round about now is when we come to another Round Robin Photo Challenge, and I'm on the road to posting mine. This week's Challenge was suggested by Vicki, who blogs over at Maraca. Her topic is a cool one: "The Road Less Traveled." I'm driven to try for a fairly ambitious entry about it - I just hope I reach the destination I have in mind without driving all night!

End of the bad road jokes. But not of the road metaphors. You're stuck with those, I'm afraid, for the duration of this entry.

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."
--Doc Brown, Back to the Future

Okay, yeah, maybe we do need roads, both physical and metaphorical. But we don't have to stay on the same one all the time. And sometimes, if we're lucky, we can leave them entirely, and blaze our own trails.

The road more traveled: Wilmot Road and a work-a-day life.

This is the only new photo I took for this - well, half of it. As I've remarked many times, my whole life these days is along Wilmot Road - my work, home, church, groceries, doctors, even sunset photos, are all within a block of one three-mile stretch of Wilmot. I've paired the post rush hour traffic with an older photo of part of my cubicle at work. This is the boring part of my life, the part where I go where everyone's gone before: Drive to work, sit at a desk, go home to house and spouse and dog, relax a bit, get some sleep and do it all again. The only thing that makes me different from millions of other people in this basic pattern of modern American life is that I don't have any kids. Or cats.

Two feet off the road: sand and a lush canal outside Yuma.

We all break out of our ruts once in a while, though, and leave that main thoroughfare for something a bit more personal and individual - at least, I hope we do. There's travel, of course, which may take us far from the everyday - but even that can turn into yet another trip along the same well-worn path. I love Disneyland, but can I go to Walt Disney World next time instead? Or Cleveland and Wilmington? Or Hawaii? Please?

I-10 after dark, with tone and saturation fiddlement.
I didn't add the light trails near the police box.

What makes me different from you, from my next door neighbor, from the guy in the next cubicle? I figure I see things a little differently from most people, and I have different interests from the person ahead of me at the grocery store, the one who actually cares about Jen Whatshername or Lindsay Lohan or whoever. I know more about certain fictional characters (and to a tiny extent, the actors who play them) than I'll ever know about every tabloid celebrity in aggregate. But even an interest in Doctor Who or Quantum Leap or Buffy doesn't exactly put me on a lonely road. There are whole subcultures devoted to such shows. If I were a cat person, I'd be part of that subculture instead, or in addition to the other stuff. Plenty of company on these roads.

The road to Kelly, NM, a ghost town, and a hiker in Spain

Do we really want to strike out alone? The superimposed guy with the deliberately blurred face is from a photo Father Smith took on his El Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Spain. It was probably more fun for him meeting other pilgrims along the way than it would be to walk all that way alone. I enjoyed visiting that ghost town, but it would have been better with John at my side.

A tengrem gallops near the Rio Grande at sunset.

Do we want to leave the roads entirely? Or do we merely want to find new places, on either side of us as well as ahead? Seems to me that the most interesting places I go are either in my own head or inside somebody else's. It takes fiction - books, tv, film, doesn't matter - to get us to places no car, plane, boat or hiking boots will ever reach. And those are usually the places I want to see the most.

Hey, only 2:04 AM. Not bad! Now go see what roads the other Robins have found for you to travel! And yes, you're more than welcome to show us a new road yourself. Check the Round Robin blog for guidelines.


Linking List

Vicki - Posted!

Steven - Posted!

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

fond of photography

Renee - Posted!
Ode to the Muse

Dallas? **Welcome New Member**
Dallas Miao'd

Brandon **Welcome New Member** - Posted!
A Visual Experiment

Carly - Posted!

Kerrin - Posted
A New Day A New Photo

Gattina - Posted
Keyhole Pictures

Nancy - Posted
Nancy Luvs Pics


Carly said...

Hi Karen :)

Good entry. I swear some of the roads you posted, remind me of the scenes of "outer Sunnydale." LOL. Actually, it was filmed in and around Santa Clarita, California I believe, but your pics remind me of them all the same. There must be an association in there somewhere. :)

Always, Me :)

Becky said...

Tengrem bookin it down the highway made me bust out laughing! Good one!

Steven said...

Light trails on the Police Box :-) Perfect! Nice roads and I hope you arrive at your destination safely.

Renee said...

Very cool collection of photos, I like the light trails on the police box.

kmm said...

Karen I always know your entry is going to be entertaining. Terrific interpretation, love the pics Cheers Kerrin

Gattina said...

Very nice picture ! I love the first one it looks like being taken through the windshield. BTW take a cat, lol ! that makes you less different and they are very easy to handle (I have 5 !)

MyMaracas said...

Love the police box with it's trailing lights and the tengrem!

Great shots.

Janet said...

Ahhhh, I love that hiking picture!