The United States is building a wall on its border with Mexico to restrict immigration from the south; the Israelis are creating a “security barrier” to keep out suicide bombers; India is walling off Kashmir and Bangladesh; the Saudis have announced two walls, one to keep the conflict in Iraq from overflowing into their country; China wants to get back into the act of building walls to seal off North Korea; Russia is thinking about walling off Chechnya; and the oil-rich United Arab Emirates has decided to put up a barrier along its border with dirt-poor Oman, reports Mark Ehrman.
The Christian Century, “Century marks,” May 15, 2007.
The sky fell during the night without making a sound. A few late drunks might’ve wondered why going home seemed harder than usual, as if they were wading through snowdrifts. The bats might’ve wondered at the sudden congestion in their airspace. But the sky fell largely unnoticed, and the pieces found each other on the ground due to the same excess of gravity — or lack of levity — that had precipitated their fall. Being sky, they tended to collect in open places: along ridgelines, river banks, and DMZs, sliding together and turning until they locked into place.
We awoke to find that the sky had turned into the most vulgar sort of mystery, a puzzle with only one solution. The ancient Hermetic projection — “as above, so below” — had finally come true, and shepherds of every faith were triumphant. Clearly, it was in the natural order of things that we should live encompassed by strong, parental arms. “A mighty fortress” and all that. Only the weakest members of the herd died in the panicked rush for shelter from the new featureless hole that yawned above.
See the etymology of “paradise” here.