Thoughts on Gates and Fences

My childhood home was surrounded by fence, bordered by tall cedars – we had a secret to keep. I learned not to trust neighbours. I learned the price of shame.

At the back of the yard was a gate that opened onto a field and beyond that a wooded area. There I found serenity, connection, and a knowledge that what happened within my father’s fortress was not the totality of life.

I like gates.

I vowed not to need fences, that my life would be an open gate, but that was senseless. I was accessible to anyone who wanted to trample my garden.

Took a few dents and whole lot of pain for me to realize that gates and fences coexist for a reason. Boundaries are healthy, and at certain times, locks are mandatory.

(Photos for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: fences and gates. Thoughts part of my process. I’ve been obsessively photographing fences and gates recently. I’ve been sketching them too, trying to figure out the draw. Guess now I know why.)

Here’s one of my sketches:

Fences In Black & White (with poem)

Look at us building fences
pretending we have differences

do we not hunger the same
hunt in the same places

do we not strive with equal intent
build our nests with the same ferocity

forgo passion to survive?
Let us stop pretending

let down these wall
admit to our vulnerabilities

align our purposes
fight a more fearsome foe.

(Cee’s black and white photo challenge is fences. I have felt compelled to write something in response to the Christchurch tragedy. I wrote Fences a year ago, and it seemed fitting to include it here. Peace people.)

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Fences

Fences? My first reaction was that I avoid fences in my photography, and now that we’ve moved into a neighbourhood without them, I will not be able to participate.  Then, I revisited old photographs, and what do you know?  Fences!

The featured image is a garden gate at the Butchart Botanical Gardens in Victoria, B.C. The sign says ‘Private’ which is a disappointment.  There is something so alluring about a garden gate.

VJinrainforest

Further up the island is the Cathedral Grove.  The fences here are to keep visitors on the path and protect the wildlife.  I hardly noticed the rails as the eye is drawn upward.

PatioAZ

Eclectic fencing converts this parking lot into an intimate patio for pub-goers in Apache Junction, AZ.

While looking for fences, I came across this photograph, taken in Joshua Tree RV Park, California.  It even inspired a poem:

Fences

(Thank you to Leya for hosting this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Fences.)