Thursday, January 31, 2013

Things Part One: Innie or Outie?

Warning! Excessive use of capitalisation ahead! Proceed with Caution. 

What is it about things? Things are everywhere. They do everything. And nothing. They make up everything. But not nothing. Hold on…. does that make…right. Good. Where was I? Yes - Things. One can apply Relevance (or Irrelevance) to things, but whether manmade or not they are Simply There. Simply. Maybe time has taken its toll; all things wear down after a bit. But still we give them Purpose. Makes them family, though much more in the modern sense of it than the "we all look alike and have the same name" way of Yore. Sounds a bit odd, but go with it. I've had a bit of time off from thinking about this blog, so the theme reflects that break (no references to mental breaks will be tolerated, thanks very much). 
Right. Thing Families. Fences. Walls. Houses. Churches. All are designed for two simple purposes. Keep People (possessing any number of legs) In, and Keep (other) People Out. Yes, yes, I'm leaving out Castles, but what are Castles if not walls, churches, houses, and the odd Great Hall and Armoury? These days there may be rather fewer castles being built, but fences, houses, walls, and churches are rampant. Moral and other subjective evaluation aside, the keeping of In and Out, are really just practical matters. A fence divides one bit of land from another. But the very nature of the dividing makes it a force for the keeping of In and Out. I build a fence to keep my cows or horses or whathaveyou In and to keep you and your cows or horses or whathaveyou Out.
Whether an imposing fence of many feet in height, or a simple low-lying indicator of separation, the sentiment is the same. This is Mine; that is Yours (or Somebody Else's, but either way, Not Mine).
Walls are really the same. They are just more butch versions of fences. As humans evolved, so did their idea of playing nice with others. This meant that mere fences did not quite effectively get the point across.
Especially when I decide that what is Yours ought be Mine; I'm hardly going to wait politely at the fence and ask nicely. Not when I have armies and battering rams and catapults and such. OK. That train got away from me a bit. Moving On. 
In effective segue, walls are somewhat important to the construction of buildings/ And we all know (I hope) that both houses and churches are types of buildings. Shall I talk houses and churches together? If you believe of such things, churches are Houses of Lords (ooh… thought provoking, there, Parliament of England…what exactly are we saying about ourselves? The royal we, mind), and as such may ought be compared with the Dwellings of Lowly Beings.
We'll just see where this typefest takes me. So… Houses. Warm, cosy, homey, housey, secure, locked, fenced, guarded, protected… Houses.

Keeps family values In, and those who wish to disrupt said values Out. Until the age of OK To Venture Out, houses even keep family members themselves In. And of course members of other families (who wish to date members of first family) Out. Is she getting more cynical in her old age? Likely. But she'll elect to call it Practical. I love my house. And my parents' house. And all the varied sundry houses in which I grew up. They were as much a part of my formation into the Rhiannon of Today as were anything else. And much as they say owners and pets come to resemble each other, so too does a choice of house or apartment or flat or in my case villa) reflect the personality and life stage of the Chooser.
Big or small, with land or without, our houses have been just right for the family we were at the time. Similarly, as I've grown and - arguably - changed, I've chosen a house here, a crap apartment there, a lovely condo elsewhere. Sometimes I need someone, so I have a roomie. Other times, I need my own space in which to rattle about with or without clothes, and keep tidy or messy as I see fit. These times call for Living Alone. Again, the train has jumped the tracks… really cannot tie churches in to all that nonsense. So we Move On. Because I want to, and because I am typing this on a plane, and we will be landing soon. 

What was I going to say about churches? House of Lords (or Ladies, if that is your thing), and keepers of things In and Out. So I've not been to church with any kind of regularity since I was too young to have any say. However, I remember the occasional feeling of being Locked In during the service, and woe to the child who Forgot To Go before the big doors closed and the singing began. Yes there were treats afterwards as a reward (or so it seemed) for behaving for the endless hours (or so it seemed) of Church the event in Church the place. But somehow being locked in a big room with lots of Funny Old People deserved more reward than a Dixie cup of permastache-inducing punch and a triangle of cinnamon raisin toast or a minimuffin. But yes, the place is meant for keeping Out as well. Some religions are a bit more welcoming to others, but others treat the average service as a Rite of Secrets Known Only to the Chosen. God (or whoever) forbid anyone else dared challenge the closed doors. This kind of sentiment harkens back to Yore, when the Other Religions were nothing but blasphemous sorcerers out to muddle things up and the only way to deal with them was by rather any and violent method.

Thus no one wonders at the tetchiness of Religious Matters even today. We are far less likely to burn people at the stake for believing something else, but boy will we get in a state, and some will even kill. All for the sake of keeping one religion In and another religion Out.

Got a bit heavy there as I fly "home" to Italy and my job and the infernal cats that have taken up residence in my garden and my energy and my pocketbook. And a bit more bloggy than photo, but already did one that was more photo than bloggy, so Balance has been returned to the Force. Nonetheless, the keeping of In and Out is far more prevalent than we notice most of the time. And my purpose was not to get overly deep on the matter, but it does make for an interesting intellectual exercise. Besides, it let me title this blog the way I did. So there. Cue gratuitous in-flight photo of Alps at Sunset...