The Other Side of the Wall

Saturday, I read an exchange between Jack Kornfield and Pema Chödrön about ”shortening the fuse,” loading up language for an assured explosion.

My mind went to social media warriors lining up on respective sides of the middle–no one’s land–where no one goes because it means giving up ground. There seems none to give.

And then I found a remarkably insightful article regarding secret Facebook groups. Think about it. Secret groups for free speech in a republic whose constitution protects freedom of speech for ALL.

I am a member of more than one secret group and am not averse to joining others. It is the tenor of these interesting times in which we live, unfortunately. We are closer to being underground than I ever thought possible.

It is a war. I see that now. I am on one side of a wall but it is in no one’s land where I found myself Saturday. I cannot lay claim to taking the first step.

It was my wise neighbor, Grace. Literally, there is an apartment wall that separates our lives but it joins us as well. Where we live is our bond.

Together, we weather the changes in the management of our apartment complex. We have no input but we do have a suggestion box. Such is the tenor of the times.

Grace is not a member of  #TheResistance and is always relieved when I do not cause a “revolt” in a meeting with apartment management. Often, she will put her hand on my arm.

I do not wear my pink pussy hat or my Nasty Women Project shirt when she and I go out, especially not to a meeting with management.

Maybe I’ve been walking this wall for a while. It’s not as noticeable as I thought it would be.

Grace is important to me, for where we live, friendship is not for the faint of heart. Ours is a 55+ apartment complex–low income–for many of us, this is our last home. It’s a shorter friendship for life here.

When Grace and I discussed Puerto Rico, both of our hearts closed. We could not bridge the divide. It surprised us, and it hurt. We discovered the wall.

I cannot say when or if I would have called her, again. These are dark days for everyone; loss looms on both sides. After all, we are losing the middle. The world feels fragile because balance is.

It is Grace who goes to the wall with the announcement: ”Judgment Day has arrived.” I am stunned because I feel that, too.

However, Judgment Day appears to have more than one cause–our apartment complex gates are now operational.

Neither one of us can understand the need for gates. They are anything but a security feature and present mobility issues for both of us. We are not an exclusive community.

Yet, what seeks to exclude brings Grace and I to the wall, the fuse no shorter.

KMHuberImage; Gulf of Mexico, FL; St. Mark's Wildlife Refuge

7 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Wall

  1. The now famous free-style rap by Eminem shows that in some cases, there is no middle ground. In his case he is forcing his fans to take a stand in the most blunt, crude yet forceful way and I admire him greatly for it. There is a time for aggressive activism and a time for seeking middle ground. Let’s hope we all have the courage and wisdom to know when is the time for each.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always, Craig, your thoughtful comment gave me pause. I liked the essence of this post but I understood that it didn’t quite work, and your comment shows me why. I have revised the post accordingly. Specifically, it is the wall that is the middle in this post. As you so eloquently say, may we know the difference between right and wrong thinking, as the Buddhists would say. There is a middle ground but but not as long as we view the world as one way or the other but not both. Perhaps when we forsake dualism, when we see the world as whole, we will find the middle, the balance. Thank you, thank you Craig. Much appreciated, dear friend.
      Karen

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  2. If only we would all listen to each other with the floor of mutual respect under our feet. We need to regain civility, the willingness to listen and find common ground without judging the discussion in sporting terms as if a win for one must mean a loss for the other.

    I yearn for common decency and resolutions achieved through listening and respect.

    Liked by 1 person

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