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Tony Grist

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Fences [Jun. 6th, 2017|04:51 pm]
Tony Grist
Our fences are insubstantial things- but what a difference it makes when they are taken down.

The effect is psychological rather than visual. Visually these fences of ours are insignificant- walls of air- a few verticals and a few horizontals with landscape in the gaps- but psychologically they dominate the scene. They stand for property, boundaries, thine and mine- here you may go and there you m'ain't.

Simon and his assistant are renewing the fences between us and the neighbours' meadow and just for today there's a break in the line. There used to be two fields, now there's a prairie. Everything feels so different. I stepped over the now invisible boundary with the sense of doing something mischievous- anarchic even- not that the neighbours would mind in the least...

[User Picture]From: topum
2017-06-06 09:14 pm (UTC)
We bought a couple of houses in the village where our project is based and were surprised that the villagers assumed that the first thing we would do is erect high brick fences around them because "that's what rich people do when they buy houses in the villages". And we just went with symbolic fences and not on all sides. That was considered pretty weird by the locals at first but they like it now.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-06-07 09:33 am (UTC)
Symbolic fences do the job- and what's more you can still see outside.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2017-06-08 01:27 am (UTC)
I have flimsy wire fences around my garden, but they do give me a sense of being enclosed and somehow ensconced on my little plot among the wide fields. (I have a hedge along the west side, but only the fence on the east.)

Symbolic, yes, but also very much practical in terms of how they make me feel when I go out into the garden.

(And I've planted berry bushes along the east fence, so in time it might come down if they become enough of a visual border on their own - but then again, perhaps they'll just hide the fence and it will become just a handy guide for where to trim the bushes?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-06-09 05:45 pm (UTC)
Our fences are symbolic but also have to be strong and high enough to keep livestock in.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2017-06-07 06:51 am (UTC)
And so it has always been. You can still see Iron Age field boundaries in parts of Dorset...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-06-07 09:35 am (UTC)
As the old farmer says in that poem of Frost's, "Good fences make good neighbours".
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