“Just another brick in the wall” ~ Pink Floyd

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Wall (n): a vertical structure made of stone, brick, or wood, used to enclose, divide, or support


What experiences do we miss out on because we have built a wall against vulnerability? What’s the worst thing that would happen if you took down a few bricks?

When we are born we don’t realise we are vulnerable as we have no concept of what it is to be vulnerable. But as we grow up, as we experience life, there are things that occur and they can hurt.

They may be physical things and so we learn not to repeat the experience. I was bruised on my forehead and nose often as a child for persistently refusing to believe that I had grown too tall to walk under the kitchen table.

Or they may be emotional experiences; people who say unkind things, people who break our hearts, people who leave us. We can’t build actually physical barriers to these, we can’t not interact on some level with other people, so we build emotional ones. Brick by brick, we build a buffer against the world to protect ourselves.

As we recover from hurts we might take a few bricks down. This leaves us more vulnerable and so, as is inevitable, we get hurt again and we add a few bricks back on. Sometimes we meet people along the way who we consider worth removing a few bricks for. And sometimes they are and they help us move a few more bricks. But sometimes they aren’t and we add a lot more bricks. But even with the really good ones we never remove them all.

But what really are we protecting ourselves from? Walls are designed to hold up structures, to protect us from predators, to create boundaries.

Maybe the structures we are holding up are necessary. Or have we hobbled ourselves under that low ceiling. Protection from predators is necessary but in keeping away the predators we also keep away the much more gentle creatures

What if your wall is so big it appears it can’t be scaled? How can anyone get to you? How can you connect with the world with all those bricks closing you off?

Think about your wall; how many bricks will you move today and in which direction?




2 thoughts on “Walls

  1. I read this with great interest. I do enjoy your writing.

    I wanted to be a builder when I was a kid. Can you imagine, building walls all day long?!

    My dad moved abroad when I was about 19, he didn’t tell me he was going. I was beyond hurt, although I know he assumed I was against him, as it seemed most people were, at that time. I didn’t care that I might never see him again. He could do one, as far as I was concerned.

    Then my ex died, unexpectedly. Things had become *awful* between us, and there is no way he didn’t think I hated him. But I didn’t hate him. It ate away at me for a time, and I was suddenly frightened that something would happen to my dad before I could tell him I loved him. I wrote to him, and told him I loved him, and I always had.

    My dad was overjoyed to get my letter, and we wrote often until he returned to this country. Since then I’ve always tried to be open to approach, to be honest about how I feel.

    I love that walls are also to support and as shelter. I love a good lean, me. Walls behind, up – walls in front, down.

    • That’s so lovely. Your ex dying is horrible but what a lovely connection to have then made as a result of it. Thanks for sharing that, it’s brought a happy tear to my eye.

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