“All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.” Pink Floyd (my very first impulse; it’s always a song)
The wailing wall, the Berlin wall, the Great Wall of China…so many iconic walls. What about the wall we put up when our privacy is threatened or when our emotions are about to bubble over, and we don’t want to seem vulnerable? Walls and boundaries, according to Steve, are useful at times, but he hopes they are all only temporary. His goal is to be open, always. (You can probably guess he’s a pretty confident person. Me? I like to have somewhere safe to hide.) Fences and walls in poetry: Robert Frost “Mending Wall” (‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall’ – yeah, like Steve) and D. H. Lawrence “Snake”(the snake comes out of an earth-wall into his water trough and…well, read the poem. It’s good.) My wall of photos, or my photos of Wall:
Whew! So many walls…gotta go out and walk in open space now. It’s almost Spring – I may even leave my parka behind!
I notice something about my architecture preferences. I don’t have very many shots of modern, abstract, minimalist architecture. I prefer old buildings, old styles which mirror nature in their profusion of contrasting textures, lines and patterns. I suppose I find the clean and “techie” look sterile and scientific. It’s just not me. I’m not Danish modern. I’m Victorian, more likely, all gingerbread and painted lady. My mother would shake her head, “Just more difficult to dust.” Who dusts, anyway? 😉
I am trying to wrap my brain around history. As an interpreter at Old World Wisconsin, I talk about St. Peter’s Church, the first Catholic chapel & cathedral in Milwaukee, which was built in 1839. The liquid glass in the windows is rippled with age. Kids who come by can’t believe that the pump organ isn’t hooked up to speakers and that the stops don’t produce drum patterns or other synthetic sound loops when I pull the knobs. My blog friend, Stuart, is posting amazing photos of Gloucester Cathedral (you must pay a visit…click here to see his shots) built in 1350 or so.Stone masonry and stained glass and soaring vaults predating the little immigrant church by 500 years – shows you that history isn’t about straight-line ‘progress’, it’s a complicated story with twists and turns and explosions and annihilation thrown in. Then compare this photo of Mesa Verde in Colorado, a cliff dwelling inhabited somewhere between 600 and 1300 AD, most likely closer to 1200 AD.
What we do with the raw materials at hand, the technology available and our cultural values is totally up to us. So much is possible. So much has always been possible. What are we doing today? How will our imprint appear in 500 years? It’s a lot to think about.