Saturday, January 10, 2009


I've been a stenographer to the imaginal worlds today. In-between those in-between times, I took a walk in the wash with Mario. I tried to keep in the here and now instead of slip-sliding away.

As we walked, we came to a new fence across the wash. This one had three strands and a post in the middle of it. The fencers are determined to keep people out. I was afraid this would happen. Someone who doesn't live here but who lives in the neighborhood kept moving the fence. She was used to walking and riding in the wash, so she figured it was her right to move the fence. As far as I know, she never talked to the people who put up the fence. She just moved the fence.

This is my way of thinking: If someone puts up a fence because they're frightened or because they don't want people on their property, they're going to get more afraid or more pissed off if someone secretly keeps removing the fence. (And by secretly, I mean the person isn't telling the owner of the property that she's moving the fence.) By moving the fence, this person has escalated a border dispute. What could have been resolved peaceably could now turn into possible charges of vandalism and trespassing. Or a more obstinate stance on the fence than might have occurred if everyone had talked to each other.

I happen to believe that if a road, path, or wash has been used as a thoroughfare for many years then an easement has been established: but I don't know if that's a legal fact, and I wouldn't go on anyone's property unless I knew the people had given me permission or that there was a legal easement. I've lived in the West long enough to know anything else would be unsafe.

When we first started coming here many years ago, we were told that we had access to the wash and anyone in the neighborhood could walk it. Now that seems to have changed. It's too bad all these people couldn't talk to each other. The woman who put up the fence should have talked to her neighbors about what was going on and everyone who was affected should have talked to her when the fence went up.

We hope by next year this is resolved. I like liminal borders that are easy to cross. I love thresholds and places where you step into other worlds or more fully into this world. The wash has always been that kind of place here, where the wild and the human walk together. I hate to see that fence. It feels so much like someone is trying to stop...the flow of things.

I'll be interested to see what happens.

1 comment:

Will Shetterly said...

I hope it's extremely boring!

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