10 Border Walls No One Talks About

10 Border Walls No One Talks About



When we talk of border walls, the first ones that come to mind are the Berlin Wall, the North and South Korea Wall, and the wall that President Donald Trump wants to build along the US border with Mexico.

Although Trump’s proposed wall has generated arguments and counterarguments, no one seems to notice the other walls popping up elsewhere. Or the ones that have been in existence for decades. There are more walls dividing countries than we think.

10Moroccan Wall

Photo credit: france24.com

The Moroccan Wall (or the “Berm”) is a 2,600-kilometer-long (1,600 mi) wall running through Western Sahara. The wall is made of 3-meter-high (10 ft) desert sand and is protected by electric fences, radar, barbed wire, Moroccan soldiers, and about seven million land mines. This makes it the world’s longest minefield and one of the world’s most guarded borders.

This is because Western Sahara is disputed territory. While most of us consider it southern Morocco, the people there say that they are part of the largely unrecognized Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Polisario Front, which is fighting for the independence and recognition of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, controls the other half of Western Sahara just outside the wall.

The wall has not deterred the Polisario Front from launching attacks on Moroccan troops across the border. Polisario Front fighters will readily dig underneath the border to bypass the wall. The greatest losers of the Morocco–Polisario Front conflict are the inhabitants of Western Sahara, who are caught on both sides of the wall. Many of them have been killed by the land mines.[1]

9Baghdad Wall

Photo credit: iraqslogger.powweb.com

The Baghdad Wall is a 4-kilometer-long (2.5 mi) concrete barrier separating the Sunni side of Baghdad from the Shiite side. Before the wall, Sunni militia regularly launched attacks on Shiite civilians, the Iraqi military (which has a Shiite majority), and US troops. Shiite militia also launched attacks on Sunni civilians in the area.

US troops built the wall around southern Ghazaliya where the Sunni militiahad a stronghold. While the wall reduced the number of murders and attacks, it has created unease among Sunnis, who fear that they are being cut off from Baghdad. Others think that the wall is not for their protection but to keep them at bay and allow the Shiite militias to deal with other Sunnis outside the wall.

Some businesses and facilities that serve the Sunni community are also outside the wall, complicating the unease. Sunni insurgents tried to destroy the wall with bombs soon after it was erected. They failed and only managed to damage a small portion that was later repaired.[2]

8Botswana-Zimbabwe Electric Fence

Photo credit: BBC

Zimbabwe and Botswana are separated by a 500-kilometer-long (310 mi) and 2-meter-high (6 ft) electric fence built by Botswana. Botswana says the fence is necessary to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease brought by cattle smuggled from Zimbabwe.

If this is true, it is clear why Botswana was concerned about the disease. At the time the wall was proposed in 2003, Botswana was facing a foot-and-mouth disease epidemic that left farmers killing thousands of cattle. This posed a threat to its economy, in which cattle rearing was the second major source of income.

Zimbabwe says the fence has nothing to do with the disease. Instead, it is an attempt by Botswana to keep Zimbabweans out. Zimbabwe was experiencing inflation and severe unemployment at the time that the fence was proposed, leaving many to illegally cross the border to neighboring Botswana.

Curiously, Botswana never turned on the electric fence and did not patrol it to stop people or animals from crossing illegally.[3]

7South Africa–Mozambique Electric Fence

Photo credit: defenceweb.co.za

South Africa has an electric fence erected along its borders with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In 1990, the Mozambique portion of the fence, which locals called the “Snake of Fire,” was fingered for the death of hundreds of civilians fleeing the Mozambican Civil War. The electric fence delivered a deadly 3,500-volt shock to anyone who touched it.

Electric fences are usually available in lethal and nonlethal variants. The nonlethal ones could deliver shocks up to 10,000 volts in milliseconds. This is enough to stop people from attempting to breach the fence. But considering the short period of contact, it is not enough to kill.

The lethal variant, the type used in South Africa, delivers continuous shocks that will kill a person. Lucky survivors usually suffered serious burns or lost body parts.

The South African Catholic Bureau for Refugees claimed that the fence killed over 200 civilians every year. Meanwhile, the South African Defense Force claimed that only 89 people died in three years. Whichever is true, the fence killed more people than the Berlin Wall did in 28 years. An entire industry even crept up around evading the fence with Mozambique civilians paying guides to show them routes.[4]

An alternative was to walk through the fenceless area that leads straight into the South African Kruger National Park, which is renowned for its pride of lions. A typical journey through the park into mainland South Africa took 24 hours, enough time to get hunted and eaten by hungry lions. Soldiers guarding the park often reported seeing the remains of people eaten by lions.

Some lions even turned into man-eaters, abandoning their normal game for human flesh. They became so bold that they started attacking and killing reserve wardens for food. The fence still exists today, but it is no longer electrified or guarded. It has been cut in several places and has mostly fallen into disrepair.

6Peace Walls
Northern Ireland

Photo credit: BBC

Peace Walls are not a single barrier but a series of over 60 different walls that divide Belfast, Northern Ireland. In some places, the walls are nothing but short wooden fences, and in others, they are high concrete walls. The barriers were erected during the Troubles to keep the religiously and politically different unionists and nationalists apart.

Before the walls, people from both sides launched attacks. The walls slowly started creeping up around neighborhoods prone to this violence. At the time, the walls made residents feel safer.

Weirdly, most of the walls were erected after the end of the Troubles. They are slowly being demolished and are projected to be entirely destroyed by 2023.[5]

5Project Wall

Photo credit: aljazeera.com

Project Wall is a planned 2,000-kilometer-long (1,200 mi) border fence and trench system separating Ukraine from Russia. It is funded by Ukraine and intended to prevent another Russian invasion. Ukraine started erecting the fence after Russia successfully annexed Crimea. The fence is still under construction and might never be completed considering current events.

Ukraine does not have enough money to complete the fence, and the little it has expended is being stolen by corrupt contractors and border guards. Most of the fenced part of the border is also compromised and not built up to standards. So far, Ukraine has only managed to dig 273 kilometers (169 mi) of trenches and to fence 83 kilometers (52 mi) of the border.[6]

Some defense analysts are skeptical about the effectiveness of the fence and trench. The fence is unguarded, and the trench is unlikely to slow down Russian tanks. Ukraine has shifted the planned date of completion from 2018 to 2021. Its government says that it cannot fund the fence alone and will find other European nations to help it with the cost. Russia is also erecting a fence to separate Crimea from Ukraine.

4Great Wall

Photo credit: The Telegraph

The Great Wall is a 966-kilometer-long (600 mi) fence and trench system that separates Saudi Arabia from Iraq. The Saudis first considered erecting the fence in 2006 over fears that belligerents of the Iraqi Civil War could launch cross-border strikes into Saudi territory.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia began construction after watching ISIS grab a huge chunk of Iraq’s territory just at its border. The Saudis feared that ISIS was preparing to launch an invasion into its territory.

The wall is protected by five parallel fences, watchtowers, surveillance equipment, and over 30,000 soldiers. While the fence was still under construction in 2015, ISIS attacked a border post to stop the Saudis from completing the project. Three border guards were killed in the attack. One was General Oudah al-Belawi, who commanded border operations in Saudi Arabia’s north.[7]

Besides the Iraqi border, Saudi Arabia is also building a 1,600-kilometer-long (1,000 mi) wall along its border with Yemen.

3Ceuta And Melilla Fences

Photo credit: The Guardian

Ceuta and Melilla are two Spanish cities in North Africa. Both are considered a part of Spain even though they share borders with Morocco. There is regular ferry service between the cities and mainland Spain.

This has resulted in African migrants fleeing to both cities by sneaking in on ferries going to Spain. As a result, Spain erected fences along the borders which both cities share with Morocco to stop the migrants from coming in.

The European Union also doles out millions of euros to Spain and Morocco to stop the migrants from sneaking into these cities and, consequently, into Europe through mainland Spain. The fence in Melilla is 11 kilometers (7 mi) long. It consists of three parallel fences, complete with blades, alarms, and pepper gas. The pepper gas have been deactivated for now.[8]

2Egypt-Gaza Wall

Photo credit: apjp.org

Unlike the other walls we have mentioned, the Egypt-Gaza wall is an underground wall. It was constructed to stop the smuggling of weapons into Gaza through underground tunnels from Egypt. Israel has a tight blockade on Gaza and strictly controls what can and cannot be imported. This has created problems for people importing items like food.

To bypass the borders, people have taken to smuggling items through tunnels dug from Egypt. Hamas controls these tunnels. It provides lighting and collects taxes on the smuggled products. Hamas also has its own secret tunnels that it uses to transport weapons. Although the wall was built to target these secret tunnels, it will also affect the regular tunnels used to transport food and similar crucial items.[9]

Egypt says the underground wall is 10 kilometers (6 mi) long and cannot be cut or melted. It was built with the aid of the US. Israel itself is building an underground wall above and beneath its 64-kilometer-long (40 mi) border with Gaza.

The underground wall is intended to counter the tunnels used by Hamas to launch attacks into Israel. Israel has not revealed the depth of the wall but says that it will be completed in 2019.

1India-Bangladesh Fence

Photo credit: thediplomat.com

Seventy percent of India’s 4,100-kilometer-long (2,500 mi) border with Bangladesh is fenced. The 2.4-meter-high (8 ft) fence has barbed wire and, in some places, electric fence. The structure was erected in the 1980s after violence broke out in the Indian state of Assam over illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state. Nevertheless, the fence has failed to achieve its purpose because Bangladeshi immigrants and even terrorists still get through.

Corrupt border guards collect bribes from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to allow them into the country. Some illegal immigrants also use fake papers to beat the system. Others just pass through the rivers at the border, areas which are obviously unfenced and account for 1,116 kilometers (693 mi) of the border.

India has also been criticized for the heavy-handed manner with which it keeps out illegal Bangladeshi migrants. Indian border guards killed 900 Bangladeshis between 2001 and 2010.[10]

Some were not even illegal immigrants. They only happened to be Bangladeshi farmers with farms close to the border. Others were killed while returning to Bangladesh after illegally crossing the border to visit relatives on the Indian side.

10 Creepiest Letters Penned By Serial Killers

10 Creepiest Letters Penned By Serial Killers



Serial killers are known to be lethal with weapons in their hands, but they can also incite fear with their pens as the following creepy letters have proved. They were written by some of the most notorious and twisted killers in history.

The letters became tools to taunt the police, make demands, hurt the victims’ families, or make chilling confessions. Each one was likely written with the same hand that the killer used to slay his victims.

10Albert Fish

Photo credit: nydailynews.com

Creepy serial killer Albert Fish was known as “The Boogeyman” as he preyed on small children and was a suspect in at least five brutal child murders. In 1928, he kidnapped 10-year-old Grace Budd. Then he murdered her and cannibalized her remains at an abandoned house in Westchester County, New York.

Afterward, Fish sent a letter to Budd’s mother describing in horrifying detail how he murdered the young girl. He wrote:

When all was ready, I went to the window and called her. Then I hid in a closet until she was in the room. When she saw me all naked, she began to cry and tried to run downstairs. I grabbed her, and she said she would tell her mama. How she did kick, bite, and scratch. I (then) cut her in small pieces so I could take my meat to my rooms, cook and eat it.[1]

The letter became the downfall of Fish as police were able to trace the killer from the unique branding on the envelope he had sent.

9Donald Harvey

Photo credit: ibtimes.co.uk

Donald Harvey was a former orderly in hospitals in Ohio and Kentucky during the 1970s and 1980s. During this time, he killed an estimated 37 patients. However, the real victim count is believed to be much higher as Harvey claimed the figure is closer to 70. His killing spree “began by accident” after hooking up a patient to an empty oxygen tank, and then he just couldn’t stop.

The cold-blooded killer never showed any remorse for his crimes. In one interview, he said, “Some of those (patients) might have lasted a few more hours or a few more days, but they were all going to die. I know you think I played God, and I did.”

In a chilling letter that he wrote behind bars, the serial killer joked, “Lord, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.”[2]

8Dr. H.H. Holmes

Photo via Wikimedia

Dr. H.H. Holmes was a twisted serial killer who built a “Murder Castle” in Chicago with the intention to kill as many victims as possible. The 100-room building had long, winding corridors that would disorient victims. It also had trapdoors, false walls, and gas chambers. Holmes then sold the cadavers to medical research institutions, and the organs were traded on the black market.

On April 11, 1896, he wrote a full letter of confession to the Philadelphia North American newspaper:

I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with the “Evil One” standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.[3]

One month later, he was hanged at Moyamensing Prison for his crimes.

7Gary Ridgway

Photo credit: thoughtcatalog.com

Gary Ridgway became known as the “Green River Killer” after he confessedto murdering 48 sex workers and runaways in the state of Washington during the 1980s and 1990s. Ridgway said, “I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”

In 1984, he wrote a letter about the murders titled “what you need to know about the green river man” and sent it to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In disturbing detail, the killer wrote about necrophilia and cutting off the fingernails of victims before signing off as “callmefred.”[4]

Police claimed that it was a “brazen attempt to throw off investigators.” At the time, they did not follow up on this key evidence. Ridgway’s game of playing cat and mouse with the police finally came to an end in 2001 when DNA evidence connected him to the murders. He was spared the death penalty as part of a plea bargain where he disclosed the locations of the missing bodies. His plea bargain raised his murder convictions to 49.

6Ian Brady

Photo credit: BBC

The “Moors Murderers,” Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, killed five childrenbetween 10 and 17 years old in the early 1960s. Three graves were discovered on Saddleworth Moor in Manchester, England, but the killers never revealed the final resting place of their other victims. Hindley claimed that she was under Brady’s spell and that she took part in the crimes against her will. However, he tells a different story.

In one letter that he wrote from prison to a journalist, Brady explained:

Hindley has crafted a Victorian melodrama in which she portrays herself as being forced to murder serially. We both habitually carried revolvers and went for target practice on the moors. If I were mistreating her, she could have shot me dead at any time. For 30 years, she said she was acting out of love for me; now she maintains she killed because she hated me—a completely irrational hypothesis. In character, she is essentially a chameleon, adopting whatever camouflage will suit and voicing whatever she believes the individual wishes to hear. She can kill, both in cold blood or in a rage.[5]

5The Axeman Of New Orleans

Photo credit: wbur.org

The Axeman of New Orleans is an unidentified serial killer who butchered six victims and injured 12 others in 1918 and 1919. A letter believed to be from the killer was published in newspapers and claimed that he would spare anyone who was playing jazz music.

Dated March 13, 1919, the anonymous killer wrote:

I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it out on that specific Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.[6]

Then the murders suddenly stopped as quickly as they had started. The crimes remain unsolved to this day.

4The Beltway Snipers

Photo credit: CBS News

Over a three-week span in 2002, the “Beltway snipers” killed 10 people in the states of Maryland and Virginia. (Another seven individuals were murdered elsewhere.) John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo shot each victim with a single bullet fired from a distance. Then the killers vanished.

They wrote down their demands in a three-page letter with a cover note that read, “For you, Mr. Police. Call Me God.” They demanded $10 million in “unlimited withdrawals” or the lives of children in the area would be threatened. The letter was left pinned to a tree outside a restaurant where the snipers had shot and wounded a man who was out to dinner with his wife.

They were eventually caught when one of the snipers mentioned an unsolved murder in Montgomery, Alabama, in a traced phone call. Authorities were able to link both of the murders with fingerprints and make an arrest. Muhammad was put to death by lethal injection, and Malvo received a life sentence.[7]

3Dennis Rader

Photo credit: rebelcircus.com

Dennis Rader gave himself the title “BTK” after his chilling murder method of “Bind, Torture, Kill.” Between 1974 and 1991, Rader killed 10 people in Sedgwick County, Kansas, with gaps in between to dedicate more of his time to being a family man. Rader believed that he could outwit the police, so he sent them taunting letters.

One of his poorly written letters read:

When this monster enter my brain, I will never know. But, it here to stay. Society can be thankfull (sic) that there are ways for people like me to relieve myself at time by daydreams of some victim being torture and being mine. It a big compicated (sic) game my friend of the monster play putting victims number down, follow them, checking up on them waiting in the dark, waiting, waiting. Maybe you can stop him. I can’t. He has areadly (sic) chosen his next victim.[8]

He signed it, “Yours, Truly Guiltily, BTK.”

He was caught after he upgraded his technology and sent his letters on a floppy disc, which was immediately traced to him.

2Jack The Ripper

Photo credit: casebook.org

The terrifying case of Jack the Ripper still haunts London today. In 1888, the chilling serial killer targeted impoverished areas around Whitechapel. The bodies of his victims were discovered with their throats cut open and with abdominal mutilations.

On September 27, 1888, the Central News Agency received this letter (which they believed was a hoax):

The next job I do, I shall clip the lady’s ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly, wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck. Yours truly, Jack the Ripper.[9]

Three days later, a double murder took place. True to his word, the ripper cut a portion of the earlobe off his victims. The case has never been solved.

1The Zodiac Killer

Photo via Wikimedia

In the late 1960s, the Zodiac Killer targeted four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco. Five victims were killed during his reign of terror. He sent several letters, including four cryptograms, to the local Bay Area press. It’s believed that his true identity will be revealed if the ciphers can be decoded.

Only one of the ciphers has ever been solved.[10] Schoolteacher Donald Harden and his wife, Bettye, cracked the code which reads:


The unsolved ciphers still frustrate the FBI.

Random Phrases today with Creativity boosters for the day.

Great Sunday.  5th meeting of Toastmasters in 3rd Club of Bangalore. Young, vibrant crowd mixed with some bearded oldies and middle aged Techies.

  1. Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other. No. did not happen. Day of course, began different. 
  2. Jaws of Death Meaning: Being in a dangerous or very deadly situation.  No. Not really. Saw a Premier movie for a while but did not experience it 🙂 
  3. Two Down, One to Go Meaning: Two things have been completed, but there is one more that has yet to be finished. Yes. Today’s short walk left the Udemy course study unfinished for the day .
  4. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts Meaning: Finishing a task without making any excuses. Experienced this later in the day with two Excuse Masters cleverly negotiating with each other. 
  5. Right Off the Bat Meaning: Immediately, done in a hurry; without delay. Yes. without any inhibition responded emails and gave guidance to even a mail marked FYI 🙂 🙂 . Lessons repeated in Communications. 
  6. Break The Ice Meaning: Breaking down a social stiffness.  Great speeches by two youngsters and one International Humorist champs at Toastmasters. The breaking the ice speech was literally great. 
  7. A Chip on Your Shoulder Meaning: Being angry about something that happened in the past. Yes. I still carry one anger chip on my shoulder. 
  8. Shot In the Dark Meaning: An attempt that has little chance for success.  no like hope taking shot in the dark is not part of my strategy. 
  9. Let Her Rip Meaning: Permission to start, or it could mean ‘go faster!’  If the brainfog is gone and wiser sense prevails – you don’t need any permission. 
  10. Wake Up Call Meaning: An occurance of sorts that brings a problem to somebody’s attention and they realize it needs fixing.  Hmmm… will wait and watch though. 
  11. Keep Your Shirt On Meaning: Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset.  Yes. even while in an angry tone, try not to rant. 🙂

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is Black Diamond Beetle Day? In 1999, WakuWaku Land, a Japanese insect specialty store, sold a rare Black Diamond Beetle for a record 10 million yen ($90,000). So, think about that the next time you feel the urge to squish a bug. 😉


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

— Maya Angelou

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Send a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life (a friend, family member, teacher etc.)
  2. Make an effort to get to know someone you don’t usually talk to
  3. Send flowers to a friend or a family member!
  4. Save water – turn the tap off when brushing your teeth!
  5. Feeling brave? Give blood
  6. Neighbour’s lawn looking messy? Offer to mow it
  7. Smile at a stranger
  8. Leave someone flowers anonymously
  9. Old laptop or mobile lying around? Donate it
  10. Read a good book recently? Pass it on to someone else

A psychotherapist explains the 5 stages of changing behavior | Ladders

A psychotherapist explains the 5 stages of changing your behavior
By Katherine Schafler
Aug 17, 2018





Wait, just thinking about changing is a stage of change? That’s how you start to change — by thinking about it without doing anything?


The idea that just thinking about what you want to change is an actual stage of change is so rational and obvious after the fact (of course you need to think about what you want to change and how you want to change it before you actually do it), but in the midst of contemplating change most people encounter this sentiment:

All I do is think about changing X and talk about changing X but I don’t actually do it.

This creates stuckness and a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.

You tell yourself over and over again that you’re not someone who does anything to change, you just think about it a ton, and then you become someone who doesn’t do anything to change and who just thinks about it a ton.

Breaking that cycle starts with a deeper understanding of what the process of change actually looks like.

Deliberate change comes in 5 stages:

1. Pre-contemplation
You’re not even thinking about changing. An example of this is a woman who’s dating a man who isn’t great for her, but she’s having fun dating him anyway. She doesn’t think he’s not great for her, she doesn’t think he’s a bad or incompatible choice. She’s just enjoying being around him.

2. Contemplation
In this stage, it’s likely that a few things have happened which have catalyzed some thoughts around whether you should change something. Using the prior example, the woman might have noticed a few things about the man she’s dating that she doesn’t like. She might be starting to ask herself questions like, Where is this going? … What am I doing? … Well he’s really great at X but not so great at Y … Why am I putting up with this? … Is he enough for me? … Am I really happy with this situation?

You don’t actually change anything in the second stage.

You basically just think about what your life would be like if you continued doing the exact same things, what your life would be like if you decided to change and the ways by which that potential change might occur.

3. Preparation
This is when you’ve decided you want to change and you go into preparation mode.

You might ask around about how other people have successfully changed and announce to others that you’ve decided to change in order to hold yourself accountable to it. You might read books or blog posts on change, you might make purchases for yourself that make it easier to enable and stick to the change you want (cough, lululemon, cough).

4. Action
The action stage is marked by actual behavioral changes.

This is the stage that most people associate with change because it’s the stage that’s most visible.

In our example, this is the stage where you have the tough conversation and you break up.

5. Maintenance
A crucial and often overlooked stage.

It can take so long to realize you need to change ‘for real’ as well as to take the actionable steps to change, that by the time you get to the maintenance stage it’s easier to think the tough work is behind you.


Ironically, this is the stage that often requires the most support.

Relapsing (i.e. going back on your decision to change) is usually a natural part of this stage that is misinterpreted as failure.

When you have support through the maintenance stage, you learn to prevent, examine and explore your relapses, mining for the loopholes that you then begin to tie off.

With the exception of pre-contemplation, all the stages of change require a great deal of work, attention, time and energy. Thinking is included in this work. It’s hard to encounter conflicting thoughts about what you want and then reconcile the dissension.

Figuring out what you really, truly want can be challenging enough — implementing and maintaining the changes you’ve decided upon can be even more so. #5 of my ten tenets especially applies here, and if it applies to you, recruit support.

Katherine Schafler is an NYC-based psychotherapist, writer, and speaker.  For more of her work, join her newsletter community, read her blog, or follow her on Instagram.

via A psychotherapist explains the 5 stages of changing behavior | Ladders

Pioneering Feminist Philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft on Loneliness, Friendship, and the Courage of Unwavering Affection – Brain Pickings

via Pioneering Feminist Philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft on Loneliness, Friendship, and the Courage of Unwavering Affection – Brain Pickings

How Relationships Refine Our Truths: Adrienne Rich on the Dignity of Love – Brain Pickings

How Relationships Refine Our Truths: Adrienne Rich on the Dignity of Love
“We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.”
From her stirring poetry to her timeless wisdom on love, loss, and creativity, beloved poet and feminist Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929–March 27, 2012) endures as one of the most celebrated poets of the twentieth century, a remarkable woman of equal parts literary flair and political conviction. In a monumental manifestation of both, when Rich was awarded prestigious National Medal of Arts in 1997, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual artist on behalf of the people of the United States, she famously became the first and only person yet to decline the honor in a protest against the monopoly of power and the government’s proposed plan to end funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

But Rich was also a masterful writer of prose at the intersection of the philosophical, the political, and the deeply personal. In her essay titled “Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying,” originally read at the Hartwick Women Writers’ Workshop in June of 1975 and eventually included in the altogether fantastic anthology On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978 (public library), Rich adds to history’s finest definitions of love with eloquence that resonates with particularly poignant beauty in these days of historic change for the freedom and dignity of love:

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

How beautifully this lends itself to paraphrasing Rich’s memorable words from two decades later — “I don’t think we can separate art from overall human dignity and hope.” — to “I don’t think we can separate love from overall human dignity and hope.”

On Lies, Secrets, and Silence is indispensable in its entirety. Complement it with Rich on what “truth” really means and her spectacular commencement address on claiming an education.

via How Relationships Refine Our Truths: Adrienne Rich on the Dignity of Love – Brain Pickings

” He Himself is the tree, the seed, and
the germ. He Himself is the flower, the fruit,
and the shade. He Himself is the sun, the light, and
the lighted. He Himself is Brahma, creature, and

He Himself is the manifold form, the
infinite space ; He is the breath, the word, and the

He Himself is the limit and the limit- less : and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He, the Pure Being. He is the Immanent Mind in Brahma and in the creature.

The Supreme Soul is seen within the soul, The Point is seen within the Supreme Soul. “