Fences & Thoughts on Speaking Up ( Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #10)

Hello Readers,

Today’s photographs feature fences for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (here).

I was taking a small blog break – but when I peeked at Leya’s Lens-Aritst post,  it was moving. Leya had photos from around the world, which included her favs of stone, then a variety, which included a “saw” fence and a colorful hydrangea one.  Some of the quotes included Tolkien (The wide world is all about you, you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out) and Frost (Don’t take a fence down until you know why it was put up). MMM….. tasty.

So I peeked into my archives and selected some fence images from the last few months (all from this summer). 

My fence pictures reminded me of society and people issues.

Maybe this is fresh on my mind because I was recently talking to my blog friend, Dawn, about the topic of “speaking up” and how tough it can be to speak up. Actually, that topic unfolded from the subject of forgiveness and how there is a time to speak up and a time to forgive.  However – sometimes before we can forgive we have to get a little messy and clear things up (before that grace point arrives). Other times, we forgive with grace and we accept because “it is what it is” and there might not be any point in hashing something out. 

There is no formula.

But there are times when…

we speak up to address an issue and it causes mess, unrest, and even feels like an insult to the recipient.Whew. 

But the truth of the matter is that when we speak up – we show love. Or we can be showing  love (some people might just be stirring trouble cos they have habits and patterns…. ) But – if our motive is pure and if we waited it out and then just really knew it was right to speak up.

Well – we have to ride the storm and proceed with care. 

We know that “mess” is part of a healthy process.

 I have said this many times (it is not my saying) – “Peace at any price is wrong and it is not true peace.”

I have also seen that too often we have folks who show  “passiveness” coupled with “good intentions” and avoid the hard speaking up.  It is understandable to be in that mode.

Also – because life is already filled with trials it feels like “some nerve” to confront or dare cause unrest. 

However, there is a time to remain silent and there is a time to speak up. There is a time to forgive and there is a time where it is not a matter of forgiveness because the parties are not at that “let it settle” point. Maybe something needs to be clarified, confronted, or addressed.  

Speaking up is sometimes part of a healthy life (but if you are the one who is always having a riff – well maybe something else is going on).

Okay, enough of that chat – but this is what was on my mind as I poured over some of my fence pictures.

And so my thoughts with each picture relates to society. If you are not in the mood to read, I invite you to just view the photos and let me know if you have a favorite fence from this series. 

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Fence #1 – This first image reminds me of a “life well lived”. A sturdy brick fence, with a nice door that feels inviting.  You can see where some graffiti was removed. Maybe this hints at the maintenance we do as we go through life. We do not let others stain us. Or when “shit happens” we cope and repair and then do the work to clean up and stay strong.
Fence #2 – LOCKED UP. Reminds me of when people do NOT take care of needed maintenance. Perhaps they age with bitterness and coldly become aloof; keeping a lock on things in a way that does not allow growth.
Fence #3: TEMPORARY. Sometimes fences are temporary. We erect them for a specific purpose. They are short-term and have a function, but once the project (or season) ends – the fence comes down and a new mode unfolds. I have also watched this building slowly take shape. The reason I took the photo (month ago, long before I Knew Leya would pick fences for a them) was because I wanted to document the stages of this strong structure. It seemed so solid at each step and it reminded me that sometimes things TAKE TIME. In fact, it encouraged me. So let us all remember that sometimes things TAKE TIME and we need to trust the process (per Marcus).
Fence #4: TEMPORARY TAKE TWO. Here is another temporary fence. The Trent sign reminded me of Blogger/author/artist Trent. The brand of fence caught my eye – “Hurricane” – and then the workers with their lunch boxes and umbrellas reminded me of ADAPTING. How well do you adapt to change? Did you know that adapting is one of the five domains on emotional intelligence? Did you also know that “adapting well” can be learned – it is not a skill you are necessarily born with – you can develop grit and learn to adapt in ways that lead to enhanced wellness.

 

Fence #5: STATELY. This fence – or brick wall – had a stately feel. I like it, but as I was letting my “social” topic flow in this post, this image reminded me of “fronts” people sometimes put up. Sometimes a “front” is just a matter of someone having privacy (because delicate matters need privacy and people sometimes misunderstand things and so we need to use wisdom and discretion when/if we share with various folks – right??). However, other times – people live much too guarded — or live in such a way that is “over controlled” and “hard.”
Fence #6: CLEAR BOUNDARIES. This fence and retaining wall reminded of times when there are no “fronts” or fake personas; instead, very clear boundaries are in place and we just call it like it is. Sometimes this is a good thing. However, this photo also reminded me of a line from the song Signs: “So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, “Hey! What gives you the right?” “To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in.”

“So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house

“Hey! What gives you the right?”

“To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in.”

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Here is another cold vibe fence, but also with a purpose:

Fence #7: I call this the “DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL” fence. I know the fence blocks the view and has a spiky feel, but this double fence is here for a purpose – it is good for you.
Fence # 8: “RIGHT ON” TAKE ONE. This image had me thinking of Sunday Trees (because it is Sunday after all) and the chain-link fence (right) seemed in sync with the row of trees. This reminded me that “healthy-normal boundaries” are good. Here we have a fence with a clear function – this fence is also maintained and not meant to be ugly or cold. It is there for safety (some fences are for health and alignment).
Fence # 9: “RIGHT ON” TAKE TWO. I like the vibe of this white picket fence. Oh…. the classic white picket fence conjures up a sweet mood. It also has a “down home, approachable feel” – do you agree? This little “perimeter fence” felt like openness. NOT an ostentatious vibe.  I just finished watching a show about Queen Victoria’s Letters (HERE) and they ended the show by noting that the queen was “blind to class and color” – and this house felt like that to me –  I also want to always be blind to class and color.

Fence #10: “RIGHT ON” TAKE THREE. Another simple fence that seems to be natural as it gets the job done.

Lastly…

Fence #11: WORN DOWN. This last image, with a worn down fence, and lower brick retaining wall, reminded me of a layered life – still together – holding its own – as the seasons come and go – as we grow and live – and show signs of wear – but we adapt and adjust and keep growing – doing what we do. This also reminded me of the uniqueness we each have as we travail our path. Not perfection – but health – for it is our life to live and I want to do it with health –  by staying truly alive. Sometimes fences help us with wellness and growth.

 

Thanks for reading. 

Do you have a favorite fence from this post?

I like 4, 2, and 7 as top ones….

Care to see more entries for this fence theme? Go here

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Lens-artist weekly photo-challenge prompts are here:

Week 1–Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

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41 thoughts on “Fences & Thoughts on Speaking Up ( Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #10)

  1. I remember the song “Signs”. Must be an age thing. 🙂 Speaking up can be a good thing, but many people need to speak with love and take care how they “speak up.” Sometimes speaking up means blowing up at the other person, which is counterproductive, no matter how valid the complaint.

    “Fences” makes me think about Robert Frost’s poem about good fences making good neighbors as well as the classic Western song “Don’t Fence Me In.”

    I will be taking a blogging break until almost the end of the month. I hope you take yours and come back refreshed.

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well I hope you enjoy y Ur September blog break although I am not sure how you got another blog pause approved after you recently had one for travel (kidding !!! Ha) and for me – I had a week long break that was just long enough – – and will take another week one soon – just winging it monthly as most of us do- eh?

      And thanks for chiming in on the speaking up topic – ugh – and yes – we do nit want counter productive or it makes things worse – hm

      Like

  2. You have very good feels about these fences. Your descriptions about them that analogous to life we live, make them much more meaningful than just fences. I do like the door and the fence in the first picture. My immediate feel is just the same as yours, it is so inviting to see what behind that fence – in a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got a lot of neat fences here made even more interesting by your thoughts and comments about each one. I like the connotation of the white picket fence. We had a chain link fence for our backyard in Florida but that was because we had dogs then. Oh, that song takes me way back. I would have been 21 and nobody or nothing was going to fence me in! 😁💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that was fun to read how nothing would fence you in back when you were 21 – great words for this post and personal last! I do think that when I heard the “signs” song it was already an oxide but goodie – but I love the line and often think about hiw some folks “keep me out or to keep mother nature in.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I look forward to your post and I thought you were already on art of the lens artist group!
      And I forgot to link your name so I am glad you found this post – many thanks to you again for the comment chatting this week – I know forgiveness and confronting are so different but then they still have commonalities as both pertain to putting thought at care into relationships – maybe making hard calls and maybe even sacrificing personal comfort to do what “is needed”

      And going to check out your link now –

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tina and many thanks again for the single invit to jo lens artist challenge – you ur hospitality fell on hunggry soil because I did not realize I was missing photo challenges until I joined in on the first one ((I was doing so many fiction entries my photo posts waned – whew))
      Peace

      Like

    1. Hahah – fence line philosophy – love it and glad u were not fenced in either –
      And side note – I juts love an umbrella in The air photo – and glad I captured this that day! Last week I tried to get a shot of a little man with a huge green umbrella – I was too late and he just closed it – he smiled my way and I almost asked him to put it back up for me and asked for a pic – but decided not to –

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Amy – you said that well! Life is not that easy – and while sometimes it seems the basic approach can help (like “I” statements and not “you” statements can help someone feel less defensive) but other times things are like a blank canvas –

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fine pictures. I go for the picket fence. So pleased with your essay on speaking up. It is exactly what I think. Sometimes I ask people why they did something simply because I want them to give a positive reason, and it is taken as criticism

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your entry. Your shots and your thoughts. I smiled a bit, because I was thinking of myself as a young teenager – I loved to walk down the street trying to analyze what kind of people lived behind what kind of fences. Love your thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is pretty cooo to walk down and imagine that as a teen – how fun and what a ponderous mind you had…
      And as noted above – your post inspired me a lot and now I look forward to pouring over the other entries on this topic – so far the ones I have seen have had a lot of variety of fences / who knew there could be so many – I mean – makes sense to see so many but just never realized it

      Like

  6. In my experience, few things can become more passive-aggressive than “peace at any cost”. We need to work through our issues first, even if we don’t necessarily need to share the product of this journey with everybody.
    As always, beautiful photos to underline a profound topic. Loved the messages behind the fences! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and good point about the passive-aggressive consequence – or it also leads to a lot of awkward and fake fronts
      and I really like how you worded this:

      “We need to work through our issues first, even if we don’t necessarily need to share the product of this journey with everybody.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, Yvette, What a thought-provoking post. The fences do make us think about the purpose, permanency, and the maintenance issues. When our next door neighbor and we decided on building the fence between the two homes, he decided to build it to the maximum height allowed by the city and paid the extra. We went with it without any conversation or argument. It’s a cinder block fence, so it’s pretty permanent. On the other side of the house, the neighbor and we settled for a wooden fence. But it’s crumbling down. The neighbor wouldn’t pay to have a new fence built, so we put one new section on our side of the fence. I think once we put a new fence all the way, they would tear down their crumbling side. 😦 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for sharing the fence stories and I like the concrete fences….
      and I wish we left more room for our neighbor because he is out there a lot. But at the time I was like your neighbor and we went to the edge – but I do wish i gave him more room…
      either way – I am very grateful for fences….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great topic. I know very few people who can accurately gauge when to keep quiet and when to speak up. Mentor and I just discussed this very thing today. Seems a lot of people err on the side of not speaking up and avoiding confrontation, and then there’s more of a fireworks show than others would predict, or they suffer in silence far too long. It’s a BIG topic.

    As for the photos, I like the white gate/door in the brick wall, and I have a soft spot for umbrella in the rain 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi Joey – your comment was extra nice just now because you reminded me of the pain from both modes. We know there can be pain from speaking up and what seems like “starting” or causing tension – but “they suffer in silence far too long” reminds us of the pain when we carry around and cannot confront.

      nice to know which fence you like the most – side note on that is I took that for a potential Thursday Doors post and was glad to have it for this theme –
      oh and….
      and cheers to umbrellas –

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a delicate balance.
        Personally, I prefer the people who speak up and shoot from the hip, I’m okay with the fireworks show, let’s have it out and be done with it. But not everyone is like that, and it’s as hard for them to do that as it is for me to stay quiet and wait it out. *sigh*

        Like

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