Barriers

There are but two ways to deal with obstruction.  Either you go through it or you go around it. Going through a barrier is commonly associated on the one hand either with stubbornness and bullishness or with foolish and resolve on the other.  Going around a barrier is by definition either ignoring the matter or being deceptive and calculating. The elemental distinction is between publicity and privacy; that is, the contrast between fanfare and seclusion.

Whatever mode is adopted on one side of the barrier will naturally precipitate a contrast in the management of what follows on the other side of the barrier. Being perceived as stubborn or calculating is a small but significant alternative. Direct confrontation of an obstacle is associated with open conflict; whereas avoidance of a drawback is frequently seen as either pacific or clever.

Each of us confronts barriers; and, each of us does so differently. Yet there is no barrier which stretches so broadly that it escapes penetration or circumnavigation. If the goal is to surmount or dissolve something unpleasant or difficult we must first identify the question before we propose the answer. It is not unheard of overlooking both proposition and solution. These vagaries naturally insinuate the direction we pursue; they command assessment of the putative cumber and a determination whether it is of greatcoats and swords or of fanaticism and posturing.

Contrary to popular characterization borders are not always prescribed; and even if they are the range of them is seldom as critical as black and white (as prone as some would have it otherwise).  Instead there are shades of exclusivity. Importantly the boundaries are often of our imagination only. This doesn’t signify irrelevance.  It affords insight of the cause. Indeed margins are frequently imperceptible except by ourselves. But no less challenging..

Humanity has built its own borders. Some are designed to keep people out; others are but starting gates such as for race horses; still others match the poetic necessity of farmland fences “Good fences make good neighbours“.

MENDING WALL
by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.