Thursday, April 26, 2012

W: Walls

        From “Mending Wall”

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.
Robert Frost

       Walls interest me.  The physical walls in the world can be low and decorative, they can be complicated and rich with texture, they can be high and shout , “I dare you to climb over me”.   Walls can keep dogs and babies in, they can give roses and kids a place to climb and they can keep robbers and heartbreakers out.  Walls can be concrete and smooth or can be brick and mortar construction.  It seems to me, if you are looking for protection, a wall might give you that.  Among my father’s many talents and skills, was the ability to lay brick, to build strong brick walls and I can still see him building the wall in our back yard (upon which he once told me that if I ran fast enough on the top of that three foot wall, I would be able to launch myself into flight.  Oh, how I tried!).
      There are also imaginary walls , created in the mind.  These walls can be designed to keep something inside.  They can also be  designed to keep someone away.  They can provide protection for the heart,  a refuge  for the soul, and some breathing room for the mind.  My father was the strong silent type of father.  Child of the Great Depression and boy soldier in the South Pacific during WW2, he saw more hardship than anyone should see in a young lifetime.  When he came back from the war, I think he build those imaginary walls in his mind.  I observed a hard working, responsible, loyal man who kept most people at a distance.  His internal walls were as strong and well built as those brick walls he laid.  I was a kid who watched the world.  Ever cautious, I looked at what the adults in my world did and I followed their lead.  I learned how to build strong walls from watching him.  Overall, they have served me well.

      Just for fun, I invite the reader to look at some walls I have seen.  Can you climb over them?


  1. Graciewild - - I've know for a long time that you are a great writer, but I didn't know you were such a terrific photographer! About the walls . . . with me, my walls go up and down along with my weight. When I am feeling crappy about myself the walls go up. And the opposite is true when I am feeling confident in the way I look. Oh, the things we do to ourselves!

  2. Hey Gracie: love today's post, and agree with you about your father's walls. I too learned from him about keeping the world at bay, and keeping my self hidden behind those walls. Thanks for your wonderful writing,and great photography/artwork.

  3. Walls can be good--providing security as you say, but I fear there are places where I've walled myself into a corner and it's just as hard to get out as it is for anyone to get in. It's something I'm working on. ;) Thanks for the beautiful imagery as always.

  4. What a fantastic post. I adore Robert Frost. I agree with Masked Mom - much food for thought