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Josephus Augustus Knip: The Aurelian Wall in Rome (c. 1809-12)

" … always stumbled upon some resolution."

It's not if but when. Never whether, either, because as near as I can tell, we each encounter TheWall, usually at an inconvenient time. TheWall often amounts to more of a cognitive barrier than a physical one, but the way this universe works, sometimes a physical barrier brings the metaphor into sharper focus. Anything that seems to stand in the way of forward progress can stand in as TheWall. Discouragement has always been a popular flavor if not necessarily a crowd-pleaser. Whatever flavor your barrier comes in, it will be your challenge to find some way to overcome the blockage. It rarely matters if one manages to go over, under, around, or through. The fates usually leave that choice up to you and the conditions at hand to influence. Some cognitive walls can be imagined into falling. Most walls turn out to be cognitive ones.

There seem to be rules against publicly admitting to the presence of a personal wall.
It's widely perceived as a personal shortcoming as if any admission of weakness or vulnerability translates directly into a negative attribute. Some barricades emerge solely due to an individual's sensitivity. Some just seem to possess more perceptive senses, and those who lack that range can take offense at reports they cannot personally confirm. We keep our walls secret, often even from ourselves. We sense the blockage, sure, but we seem to struggle with attribution. It might seem like anything but a wall for the longest time before we finally manage to place the sensation. Stuckness comes in a million different familiar flavors.

How to get around, over, under, or through? Each time's a brand new experience; prior instances were hardly practicing for any future. Each Wall seems unique because it most probably is unique. It should properly be a wrestling match with yourself, one with fundamentally unfair referees. There will be no liberation until after some reckoning, and reckoning's hard, especially when you're overwhelmed. Fortunately, stuckness seems to bring insight. Somehow, a notion translates into motion: forward, backward, sideways, over, or under doesn't matter. The inertia of stuckness falls to its counterpart because they cannot coexist. Often, I move right through TheWall as soon as I manage to move toward it. I measure my progress in inch-pebbles rather than milestones. Then, any discernable change means real difference.

In the middle of anything, any of us might find ourselves in a dark forest. We lose the thread, stray off the path, and misplace our motivation. I find comfort in recognizing that few paths leading anywhere worthwhile do anything but meander. I too easily imagine some straight or narrow roadway only to experience some hairpin curves. As long as I don't give up, I retain the possibility that I might somehow actually make it over, under, around, or through. I never know what to do but have always stumbled upon some resolution. It's very unlikely that this time will be an exception.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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