Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Themed Thursday - Fences

A while back I participated in the Themed Thursday writing effort.  It has been a while since I have done it and the format has changed somewhat.  Now instead of posting your response on Thursday, a new theme comes out on Thursday and you can post your entry any time before the next Thursday.  The Themed Thursday entry for this week is "Fence".

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

There are the obvious physical fences in this world – the ones that keep cows in a field, the ones that prevent people from getting to close to a cliff, the ones that are used to mark private property, the ones that are used to surround prisons and keep people in, etc, etc.  A physical fence can definitely have a purpose that is good, logical and helpful.  Of course when a fence is erected in a way that is harmful – think of the Berlin Wall, the fence around the Palestinian Territories, the fences that surround Buchenwald and the other death camps of WWII – it just serves to divide people and cause resentment. 

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

My thoughts today as I write of fences are more along the lines of that latter category of fences – the ones that divide and cause resentment.  What is so amazing about this category of fences is that they don’t have to be physical in nature.  They can be emotional, verbal, mental – almost any kind of esoteric concept.  It is amazing how easily they can be built.  With each word, action, look or thought these fences can grow and grow.  Their foundations are exceedingly strong and for every action that it takes to build a part of the fence it takes double the work and effort to rip it down.

For me these fences have destroyed so much.  I built fences of arrogance and selfishness.  I took affront to every little word that was said my way.  As my memory repeated the past over and over again each element of the fence was forged and re-forged and grew stronger.  As the fences surrounded me, they distorted what I looked like and made me appear to be a monster in the shape of a friend, partner and lover. As the fences grew and surrounded us, we became incapable of hearing each other over the fences.  Our words, thoughts and emotions became distorted and didn’t represent what we felt in our hearts.

In the end run the fences killed what had been us.  They prevented us from communicating and embracing one and another.  They prevented us from forming a common set of goals and dreams.  These fences did their job well.  But like all fences they eventually fell as their job was done.  What was at first us and we became you and me.  The fences had killed us. 

Now we stand bare and exposed the fences lying in ruins at our feet.  Yet you look at me and I still appear the monster.  Now that we don’t exist anymore will you ever see me in the light as the friend, partner and lover again?


Now that I have expounded upon such a serious subject – I need to tell a much lighter hearted story of a fence.

Back in the mid-1970’s I was growing up in the middle of no-where Western Pennsylvania.  My family’s property backed to a large tract of forest that ran for at least a ½ mile before it terminated in the fields of a neighbor’s farm.  Our neighbor raised a few crops but most of the land was set aside for the grazing of their herd of cattle.  To keep the cattle from getting out and just roaming around, each large field was surrounded by an electrified barbed wire fence.

My brother Tim and I used to spend countless hours of our days wandering through the woods and playing.  We would frequently go into our neighbors fields and do various stupid things there.  There was one big bull in the fields of whom we were afraid of and neither of us wanted to go near.  When he was out, we just stayed away!

When the big bull wasn’t around one of the stupid games we used to get up to was playing “chicken” with the electrified barbed wire fence.  Yes – we were definitely stupid and young!  What we would do is that we would each get a very long dandelion and pull it off as low to the ground as possible.  We would then take the dandelion and hold it up to the electrified wire and get the bejesus shocked out of us.  The whole goal was to see who was “brave” enough to do it.  I remember doing this so many times that my whole arm would eventually become numb.  These weren’t little static electricity shocks, they were full-scale jerk my arm off shocks.  Even as I sit here on this Tuesday evening I can distinctly remember that feeling just like it happened right now. 

After in engaging in this silly game several times I think we finally both learned our lesson and realized that getting shocked by an electrified cow fence really isn’t that fun.  But it is still a fun memory of carefree days spent roaming the countryside with not a worry in the world.

Not much else to say about today.  Routine day of nose down work in Boulder.  We had a slight mishap at work that cause some serious issues for a bit - but that is an entirely different story for another day.  It must be told at some point because it was very serious but in some ways so ridiculous it was funny.

Tomorrow is Zack's picture day at school so we did some shopping at Old Navy tonight.  He will look fantastic in his new outfit.  Zack and Lex are now tucked into bed so it is time for me to head out to the gym and get in a work out.

I hope everyone had a great Tuesday!

For more information on Theme Thursday please click on the following link:  THEME THURSDAY

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

1 comment:

RA said...

Wise words. "In the end run the fences killed what had been us" really says it all. A great take on Theme Thursday. :)