We’re in Venice tonight. For those of you who remember the last time I was in Venice, I will NOT be riding in a gondola. Been there; done that; got the VERY wet t-shirt.
Yesterday we were in Dubrovnik where we spent a wonderful several hours at a once-abandoned Dominican monastery tasting their oils, honeys, and wines. It’s a monastery that was destroyed in the “last” war which ended in the mid-nineties. The country is just now reopening rebuilt bridges that were destroyed in that war. As for the monastery? It still belongs to the Dominicans, but was taken over and rebuilt by a group of ten men—veterans from that last war—who have brought their individual talents to bear to do something to benefit themselves and their community. It is a true community service organization! By the time we left, I was a fan of cherry grappa!
But here’s what I was thinking about on the bus ride back to the ship. I was thinking about Robert Frost’s poem: Something there is that does not like a wall.
If you haven’t read it recently or even ever, do yourself a favor and read it now. The wall in question is a rock wall built between neighboring farms. In the winter frosts heave up and knock a few rocks off. Or stray hunters or hikers knock down a few so they can pass through more easily. But in the spring, the farmers from both sides of the wall come together to rebuild it, working together because, as Frost concludes “Good fences make good neighbors.”
On this cruise, all the ancient cities we’ve seen—with the exception of Venice—have had walls. (Venice doesn’t need a wall—it has the Mediterranean.) But the other cities have all had walls, built at great expense and huge expenditures of physical effort, not to keep their citizens locked inside, but to protect their citizens from threats from without.
And maybe with all the yelling back and forth about building a wall or not building a wall, it might do us all a lot of good to remember what Robert Frost said. Good fences really do make good neighbors.
That’s the blog for today—short and sweet. As of a few minutes ago my line editing job for Field of Bones has arrived, and that’s what I’ll be working on tomorrow.
So much for vacationing on vacation.