A wrought iron gate cordons off a small and somewhat mysterious flight of stone stairs in the Tower of London.
The sign spells out the obvious.
It’s a classier warning sign than the one I featured in the recent post No Admittance, but amounts to the same thing really.
The bars pictured here are signifiers of more than privacy – they emphatically spell isolation.
The Tower, in bygone times, was home to many prisoners, who I suspect had way more privacy than they would have liked…
‘Private Property. No admittance’, the battered sign on the fence proclaims.
It’s subtle code for:
” Not in my backyard”
” Keep the hell away”
” F**k off ( pretty please)”
We can all hang that sign out from time.
I get it.
The need for self – preservation runs deep.
But as a usual modus operandi, it is a doomed stratagem.
Putting up walls, or even wire mesh perimeter fencing with forbidding signage, will give us privacy but also isolation.
Isolation, self- imposed or otherwise; loneliness – they kill as surely as war and disease.
It pays to remember, before we put out the rusty old ‘no admittance’ sign, that potential trespassers might be bringing unexpected gifts and even total strangers may become firm friends.
They have spread and influence.
This picture is only of branches.
No trunk or visible roots.
A friend and former legal colleague of mine was announced as a judge recently and will take her place on the bench (in court, that is) soon.
It’s a position with spread and influence for sure, imbued with all the decision making powers that can right wrongs and change lives.
But it can be lonely at the top of the legal tree.
Lonely anywhere at the top, really.
I suppose that any time we get to rarified, or even isolated, places, it is crucial to remember your trunk and your roots.
The sort of life experiences and foundations that took you to where you are now.
In the soon-to-be judge’s case that will include all the clients she battled hard for in difficult situations, who will be looking back at her in the faces of those she must now make decisions for and about.
You will hopefully have your own trunk and roots system to sustain you and call upon, as you spread out and upwards, or merely when you find yourself alone.