Published in  
October 9, 2015

Why we need walls

The irony of walls is that they don’t cut out as such, they cut through – slicing off a meaty chunk of ourselves into an unfortunate heap of vestigial strangeness.

This is not to say walls are inherently abominable things. We will often feel the need to shut out the noise, to protect the embryonic pulses of a newborn child, to hold ourselves away as much we can from the music on the streets. To protect our interests. In these moments, our fear comes into service, keeping us safe, deepening our senses and alertness to danger.

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But when we linger long in that cocoon, we will be reminded that just as the seed is safe in the soil, and just as the ship is safe in the raging waters, and a child safe in dirt, we are safe when we are in each other, embroidered into each other, entangled with one another. Walls aren’t barriers, they’re palettes upon which we project our yearning to trust the outside, and altars upon which we pray that – ultimately – there is no outside after all.