Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boundaries


A boundary is a demarcation point, separating one thing from another, one country from another, certainly one property from another.  Boundary applies with behavior, performance, and ability.

A boundary keeps you in or keeps you out, governs your behavior or in its way provides you new concepts of behavior.

You sometimes do not realize how you’ve reached points in your life without observing boundaries and crossing them, each instance one of increasing concern to you as you watch behavior about you, and as your own awareness of boundaries is enhanced with experience.

From boundary comes the equally evocative word, trespass, and thus someone in or on your territory without authorization.  Of course you may not be above an occasional trespass on some property, either as a mere convenience or to compound an activity that may have legal and/or moral boundaries.

Seen in the proper light, all human behavior is subject to boundary.  If one is to love, one should do so without regard to boundary except that to love well, you must respect the boundaries of the loved, leave your own territory open, and hope the persons you love observe your boundaries.  If one is to pursue some form of art, one looks beyond boundary on the excellent theory that art is far beyond mere mimicry or design but rather a deliberate attempt to rearrange cosmic furniture.

When you were yanked from the relative comforts of California to the cranky grayness of the east, you were entered into a schooling situation where you not only had to memorize The Lord’s Prayer but in fact recite it every day.  You’d been aware of the word trespass before but never like that.  You did not particularly want your trespasses forgiven because they’d been committed in the interests of having fun and adventure.  No damage came from them.

Adventure and inventiveness came from these escapades, which mostly involved sneaking into yards in order to jump off of garage roofs, chinning yourself on clothes line frames, and in one extraordinary case on Orange Street, playing on a huge turntable that was intended to help ease cars out of garages and onto the driveway with a minimum of two- and three-point turns.

You’d not thought with any seriousness about forgiving those who’d trespassed against you because you couldn’t, until that time, think of anyone who had.  But there it was, every day, a reminder that there might be persons out there trespassing against you and you were supposed to forgive them.

Even at that age, naïve as you may have been about any number of things, you were not naïve enough to discount the fact that a trespass was a synonym for a multitude of sins.  No matter.  You did not feel sinned against nor did you find any connection with the notion that your activities might be sinful.  This was early contact with individuals who not only had to consider the implications of sin; they had as well to confess their sins on a regular basis.

Thus into your life came boundary and trespass, causing you to realize boundaries of your own, differences, sometimes subtle in nature, other times pretty well delineated.  These were boundaries you did not wish to trespass.

For sometime, you thought it prudent to observe and respect the boundaries of others, but that started to become somehow related to wanting your own trespasses forgiven at the price of you forgiving the trespasses of others.  Through writing and reading, you began to see the limitations inherent in such a course, whereupon you began the approach of respecting not so much the boundaries but the humanity of the characters you wished to create.  You saw an immediate difference.

Soon, the difference translated to real persons in the real boundaries of reality.  You saw a sense among all of us, real and invented persons alike, of trying to maintain the equivalent of forty acres and a mule, that mythic offering to free, independent persons as tools necessary to forage and farm for their livelihood.

Some things and some persons are going to be slower in changing than others.  You wish to observe the boundaries of those who look for change as that quality is defined by another splendid word, evolution.  You wish to see your written visions on some evolutionary track and along with them your attitudes, visions, and the ear for what these evolving persons and places are saying and doing.


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