Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about two very different things. Planes. And walls.
To explain, I have always been amazed at the methods we choose to go from one place to another. From here to there. Planes seem so distant from the ground, flying way up there in the blue, flashing red lights into the night. So distant, that as I think about it, I feel unsure how we trust a thing like that to carve a path through the unknown. We’re not the ones in control up there. We’re just along for the ride, blindly trusting another to hold our safety in their hands the way they would hold a butterfly.
As for walls, well. Once upon a time there was a girl who was so scared of life and all the pain that came with it, that she built walls around her heart. She erected walls around her mind. She piled the bricks high around herself, and you better believe these walls were well-built. But one day she was sitting in between her walls and she realized that the walls had done their job, for the pain had not touched her. But they had done their job too well because although the sorrow and the hurt had not made it through the wall, neither had anything beautiful. And although you already know it, I’ll tell you that the girl, the master mason, was me. And I’ll tell you, I have tried hard since then to tear the walls down, but I couldn’t quite demolish them. So I’ve added doors and windows and tried to turn these walls around me into a house so that I might invite you in from time to time , give you tea or coffee, and let you spread your beauty and your smiles and even your tears around like paint on my little walls.
But I have to say, I’ve yet to meet a wall a plane could not fly over. I haven’t even built a wall that high yet, and that, my friend is saying something. ‘Cause there’s a museum of architecture in my mind, and in these pages, and I have built some masterful boundaries between you and I. You, and her, and him. And those people over there who never even wanted in. But then, I wasn’t inviting them in either.
Maybe the reason planes and walls have been filling up my thoughts is this: Maybe I need take more plane rides in my life, trusting someone else to take me safely from here to there. And maybe I should tear down the walls I’ve tried to fake into a house, be open to all the beauty and the pain of uninvited guests, and finally put the wall-making to a rest.
-Jessi Sanders 2012