As I was driving home from errands yesterday, I took a side trip through a neighborhood I’d never seen. I noted the beautiful stone fences. Carved. Ornate. Colorful. The border fence didn’t look like a fence that would scream, “keep away!” Instead, this fence looked inviting. It was merely decorative, a border. This fence was part of a warm and welcoming neighborhood, I thought. The beautiful stone fence, the soft green grass and bright blue skies (with white puffy clouds!) made me want to stay, to linger in the peace of a sunny afternoon….that peace, without rancor or pain, without noise and distraction. I wanted to stay in this place.
The initial beliefs about this warm and welcoming environment, however, are misleading. The clouds have dark tinges…maybe not all is perfect in this little hamlet of the world. The shadows linger. A storm is coming. Maybe. The fence is beautiful and probably expensive. Someone spent money constructing this boundary. An expensive decoration or a necessary expenditure? The photograph shows a small fence. In reality, though, the fence stands about 10 feet tall. It’s not easily scalable. Someone didn’t want me (and others) in there.
But the marker of separation really is pretty.
I wonder how often we recognize the “markers of separation” that are pleasing to the sensibilities, that fit into the scene, as literal separators. What else besides pretty fences could fall into this category? (This is where you come in, dear reader(s). Please leave answers to this question below.)
Today I’m off to find separators, pretty (non literal) separators. If I can’t recognize these figurative separators as ways some use to limit access, as ways to keep spaces/people exclusive, then I won’t be able to take them on. Or down.
Note on the image: Taken July 5th, Corpus Christi, TX. I stood back about 30 feet from the fence so I could include the sky and clouds in the picture. In trying to include as many natural elements as I could in the frame, the size of the fence–the focus of the image–was diminished.