A quick note about walls

Been meaning to make a couple of quick notes about walls.

See, we were traveling in Italy last month and we saw a lot of walls. Or really, remnants of walls.

Walls around Pompeii that didn’t help much when the pumice rained down.

Walls around Roman cities, now reduced to scattered stones or low blocks.

Even the walls around the Vatican have been pulled in, covering much less of what used to be the city. You can walk portions of the old wall.

Reminds me of cities in England where you can walk through the old gates and along tops of old walls. They’re now attractions to draw people in, not keep people.

In Italy, what remains of the past are the churches, and the much older temples, where anyone could go and where you can often go still today. We walked among the columns of a 2,500 year old temple, still standing proud, while the walls have fallen.

I don’t know, but I suspect the churches and temples came first. The walls came later. You put up walls when the world closes in, and when you’re feeling vulnerable and afraid. I imagine those governments, whatever they were, built more walls near their end than at their beginning.

My theory is that you build big, open, communal buildings at the beginning to build your tribe around. And walls at the end when you worry it’s all falling apart. But of course, this blog is about fiction; hat’s just a theory for the next world I create.

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