A.J. had always been complacent and comfortable in his setting. There was an orderliness to everything that found a similar camaraderie in his disposition. Everything had a place, and everything was in its place. All was as it should be - a steady state with little variation.
But today was a day of difference. Perhaps it was the brisk coolness in the air accompanied by the touch of ground fog, or the assumption of a ubiquitous gray overcast by the sky that affected him so. Over the course of the morning, complacency and comfort had given way to dissatisfaction and distress.
The ivy seemed redundant; a fractal rendering of a monotonous and repetitive motif of monochromatic green. The prim and proper of its bearing seemed too constrained. The ivy's leaves bristled in the light and shifting breeze, as if it yearned to climb over the walls to escape the check of the frames imposed by the grounds keeper's care.
A.J. found no solace in the walls this day. They seemed but an obstruction of entanglements with the ivy set against them. A couple of lines from Robert Frost's "Mending Wall" rose from the obscurity of memory:
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out
Now, the walls seemed paltry and indefensible. A.J. realized that they did little more than hinder his view. He couldn’t remember the last time he had ventured beyond their weak fortifications. He wondered at what was on the other side.
A.J. went to the shed and got a ladder. Like the ivy, he yearned to venture beyond the restrictions imposed, he desired a freedom for himself hitherto not allowed. A.J. set the ladder by the wall. He thought about Humpty-Dumpty, and he wondered what might happen if he fell. He chuckled at the thought of his sense of sureness becoming so frail, and began to climb. Forgoing complacency and comfort, he took in the view beyond.
A.J. smiled, and placed one foot on top of the wall, and stepped into the abyss of his uncertainties.
- The Fool
- photos: A.J. Looking Over Ivy-Covered Wall & Lucia Seated In Garden by Rodney Smith