These ancient rocks, stacked by hand, unstacked, and stacked again were once the only containment for livestock on the small bits of pasturage by the sea in County Clare. It was easy enough, for men used to hard labor, to sculpt an opening in the wall, herd sheep to the next field, and build the wall back again. Now barbed wire fencing can be seen above the stacked rocks. A sign of our times, perhaps, that permanent and pain-inducing boundaries are needed. No longer can opening the stone gate be flexible and responsive to the need at hand.
And my boundaries – are they stacked stone, allowing needed openings and safe passage, or barbed wire?