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More Fences

I went on a beautiful hike this weekend, down a long country road. On each side trailing the road were ominous barbed wire fences. Intermittently, there were signs that signaled no trespassing, sometimes several of them in the same space. There before me was the insane juxtaposition of the beautiful natural world, and man's fear, that the beauty he'd stuck a flag in and called his own, might get trampled. This is mine, keep out!

I recognize the damage that can be caused by trespassers, but what kind of damage do fences cause?

How many of us used to be able to run free on the land, once upon a time? How many of us let our kids venture very far anymore? How recent was it that the boogieman was always out to get you, and even in broad daylight? The spawning of the TV generation?

We are so afraid of one another, of opening our wounds to people, of asking for help and healing--of telling our stories for fear of judgement, for fear of our hearts being trampled. We seek help from professionals and pay them to get impersonal advice and opinions, but often we won't trouble a friend.

So, we either pour concrete and pave over our pain to kill it, or we hoard our pain for ourselves. We put a fence around it. We bunker down in these small places with our air-tight stories that we think define us--and this shame becomes all the more reason to keep everyone out!

Recently I went to an evening celebrating the new moon where we danced to music and played percussive instruments together. The group was made up of very ordinary, 'normal', people, who had day jobs. Nobody was high, or drunk, or even looked very much like a hippy. What we had in common was that we were tired of fencing others out. We shared a desire to connect in deeper ways than just the standard superficial hello's and the empty how ya doin's?

This night we danced heartily, laughing, full of joy and release. We sat in circles and shared our dreams of peace. We asked for support. We asked for healing. We gently held one another if needed.

I'm sure most of us felt our fences at the beginning of the evening. I did. But after the release of the dancing, and our sharing from the heart, ever so gradually we connected with ease on deeper levels, and the fences turned into garden hedges we could frolic over.

At one point we were able to stand in the middle of the group and ask that the others support us symbolically, to help us hold our intentions for the new moon. I asked to find my voice strong, clear and loving. To support this I had the group gently gather around, touching my neck, while they sang Amazing Grace. There was something so sacred about hearing these voices raised in song, just for me, no strings attached, no walls up, just sending me the energy of love and acceptance.

To feel the love and support of these people I barely knew was incredible. To give them my support was even more incredible. There was something about daring to sit in the space with them, and allow the fences to melt away, that spoke of healing and truth.

We left knowing little to nothing about the infrastructure of each other's lives, what we did for a living, for example, or what our lives looked like in general, but we had a deep understanding of the souls of each of us, of our common desire to feel supported, seen, inspired, and loved unconditionally. We knew that if we met again, there would be an immediate remembering and understanding; a natural love, with no true fences to hide behind.

It was a gift to leave our separation outside the door, and to join with one another in a space freely gifted to all of us; a safe place to abandon our fear as best we could.

I wonder who invented fences. I wonder what our world would have been like without them.


  1. What a keen insight that our personal No Trespassing signs guard our pain and keep us from healing connection. Thank you for that thought!

  2. Wow, what a powerful telling of humanity and our fears.

    Thank you for putting this in such a way that I can return to this piece; in moments of locking myself down and others away and find the clarity by opening the gate, taking down the fences...welcoming love, support, & healing for myself and others.

  3. Hiya Brooke,

    Lovely blog.Sounds like you had a wonderfully healing experience at the new moon dance. Supposedly, barbed wire fencing was invented by some geezer called Joseph Glidden in 1874 to prevent cattle and sheep(and human beings)from roaming freely,



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