Imagine living in West Berlin during the time of the separation of East and West Germany – half a city full of bright lights and high commercial activity walled off to its other half and the surrounding countryside. Bus and train routes come to an abrupt halt at the borders. The destinations displayed on the board are beyond but out of reach. To resident and casual visitor, they are unknown and mysterious.
This is one of the pictures painted by Margaret Silf, who lived in West Berlin for three years during this period. Of course, the image provokes thoughts of the kinds of walls that we erect in our inner worlds that prevent us from reaching destinations beyond. When the Berlin wall came down, how attainable were the places beyond? Did the destruction of physical barriers lower psychological walls? How long does it take for new freedoms to be realised?
What might happen when we actually travel to those destinations beyond?
Blogged in advance because I’m now secluded in retreat under the leadership of Margaret Silf.