En-route to Edinburgh, I stood
Wall. In the not-so-rarefied
air of about 3 feet higher up, I consoled myself over the anti-climax by reasoning that the joke was actually on Hadrian. England and Scotland are part of one nation. The wall, and the separation concept behind it, were in ruins.
For a moment, I felt some small sense of triumph. Through the drizzle and mud of a moonlit evening, the victory of unity over division & strife seemed tangibly manifest in that wall. The Berlin Wall felt like a confirmation of the same principle. The fact that the most successful wall in history, the Great Wall, is now more of a tourist attraction than an attempt to keep out the Mongolian hordes was also assuring. It seems humanity learned its lesson with regards to artificial barriers and divisions.
Or maybe not. Suddenly I remembered Israel’s wall. What about
our Tortilla curtain and the folks who want to fortify it? There is even a fence running through Kashmir. All of the worldwide separatists movements, religious and tribal conflicts, and resources wars flashed through my mind as the natural precursors to the wall mentality. Conflict is a commodity for which the world has never seen a shortage.
Lastly, I thought of the wall inside me, the one that makes me think I’m separate from and different than everyone else. All those walls on the outside were just extensions of that wall inside. Despair vanished, clarity dawned, and my resolve strengthened to renew daily efforts at chipping away the biggest, most formidable, nearly impenetrable, and totally imaginary wall that was ever constructed.