Monthly Archives: January 2008

As long as the gate is closed

Berlin Wall

Walls cause great suffering.

Not long ago, a wall may was built through a city for political reasons, arbitrarily dividing families. Communication to the other side was regulated, messages censored. The letters were no better than rumors, written and rewritten. There was fear that this was only the beginning, that the city would crumble and fall.

Given all the harm this particular wall caused, one wants to say: “Do not build walls. Let everyone come and go as they wish.” But that would be foolish. Most walls we need. Some protect our privacy and warmth. Others keep the cattle within the meadow. Note this: We build these walls where we want them. When they have done their duty, we take them apart. It is we who control these walls, we whom they protect.

Sometimes I visit the city after I fall asleep. In the dream, a young man looks at the remains of the torn-down wall and asks: “Grandpa, what was VariableWrapperCache?” I smile, because he doesn’t need to know. And I tell him the story of the wall.