“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
This barrier, a solid barrier.
No light, no sunshine, no blue skies,
nothing natural except the dead vines.
This impenetrable barrier -
symbolic of my frozen exterior the world perceives.
The bushes are skeletal in their winter bareness.
Dead vines cling to the bricks,
hang off the window’s edge,
collect in piles on the ledge.
The decorative bricks offer a respite from the bleakness,
though I notice the window is covered with boards.
But wait, it’s been done neatly, with blue painted boards.
Boarded closed, but with care,
as if there might be something inside worth protecting.
And the vines?
Dead for now, but their hidden roots,
protected under the snowy depths,
warm enough roots in the warm earth,
these roots will send forth green shoots in the spring.
This phase, the deep winter of my spirit-break -
is this only a period of dormancy?
A winter phase waiting for the thaw and spring’s return?
— based on journal entries, 1990
The second barrier correlates to the time when I became unable to function, to keep up with life’s day-to-day expectations and demands. It was as if I constructed a barrier much like this one deep in my interior, providing myself with space and time, waiting for the passage of winter and spring’s thaw.
It was a time of silent waiting.
Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is on an intimate exploration of photography and healing. For an introduction to The Barriers Project, please see my post on “heading in a new direction”.