Needing Roads, Bridges or Walls Poll

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” ~ Ralph Ellison

brokeroads, no access to redwoods for some time ~d nelson

brokeroads, no access to redwoods for some time ~d nelson

If not for potholes & much bigger detours
oh, the places I would go!
Knowing that redemption & freedom
are my journey, itself
necessitates roads.

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around
I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking
marching onto freedom land. ~civil rights song

After crossing over to other sides &
experiencing their exotically sensual beauty
it’s unimaginable to burn bridges
or allowing their disrepair.

Don’t burn down the bridge
you just might want to come back. ~Albert King

Needing shelter from the storm
it feels comforting having 4 walls surround me.
But there’s no place for more barriers
separating me from neighboring countries,
those of different faiths, cultures, or other
fellow brothers & sisters of humanity.



And how about you, dear friend? In need of roads, or road repair?
How about needing a bridge, to get back home or across a great divide?
Aside from a home, are you in need for mightier, fortified walls?
If so, are these walls or fences to protect you
or to protect others from you?
Thank you for taking this poll
by contemplating and satisfying my curiosity.

I’ve built walls
A fortress, steep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock
I am an island ~Paul Simon


84 thoughts on “Needing Roads, Bridges or Walls Poll

  1. Margarita

    I’ve built many bridges in my lifetime, David. And burned a few. No regrets.

    Change is the one constant in Life. As I move with change, I bring along what’s useful, and gratefully let go of that which is not. My experience has been that the Universe always supplies what I need right now, so I travel light. 😉 xoxoM

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for this valuable addition, Irene!
      certainly walls are necessary to help others
      not commit crimes against us or themselves!
      wishing you a happy day of creating your
      beautiful works of art, david 🙂

  2. sasokisoaps

    Hi smilecalm, timely post.
    It’s all about the journey IMO.
    How we get through or around the potholes and broken roads, the gullies, valleys, mountains and molehills is what matters. Without them we don’t go anywhere.
    A couple more quotes came to mind on reading your wonderful post:
    “No man is an island… “(etc) John Donne
    “When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose” Bob Dylan – seems to me that by reducing what we materialistically have, there is less need to wall ourselves in to protect it 😊
    And I totally agree with Margarita (above) – build some bridges, burn some bridges.
    I love being part of a caring community 😊 – people who hold and support each other, celebrating difference with respect.
    Best wishes to you smilecalm,

    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your in-depth reflection & addition to this post, Sarah!
      i like those quotes which give my words new dimension.
      yes, if the roads and bridges are falling apart, and walls are being built around us, having a loving, caring community
      makes other infrastructure problems less significant. Wishing you a joyful day, david 🙂

  3. ShethP

    Built many, burnt plenty. Some repaired, some left to degrade. Some just aren’t in a state to be crossed anymore. Can’t regret, though, for life only gives you what you are meant to be bestowed with. 🙂

    1. smilecalm Post author

      i can envision your diligently working to keep that infrastructure is as good as repair as possible, dear ShethP! the actual roads and bridges near me are failing, here and there, which greatly effects lives. i’m fortunate to be impacted minimally, at this time. others, however, are having great inconvenience. internally i’m doing well, nice knowing you are also, david 🙂

      1. ShethP

        I see. Hope they are bestowed with the strength and positivity to bear it with a smile, and may their inconvenience be lessened asap. Glad to know you are doing well, though. 🙂

  4. niasunset

    Dear Smile, what a great post. I think I built and burnt many of them… So beautiful words, poems, meaningful as always. The photographs scary, I hope only damaged to the roads. Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, Love, nia

    1. smilecalm Post author

      your caring words always make me smile, dear nia!
      landslides have broken many roads and bridges near me
      and across California. floods have ruined homes and lives. like you, i hope all are doing as well as possible and have the support they need.
      internally, i’m feeling well and happy. wishing you happiness and safe feelings, also! david 🙂

  5. Jet Eliot

    I enjoyed this post very much, David. I always marvel at your ability to link the current activity of nature with the political climate. And I so loved your reminder of the importance of building bridges, lovely quotes too. Enjoy your weekend, my friend~~

    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your kind understanding, Jet!
      there is an attempt to find balance
      with the social political dillema
      and the overwhelming messages
      from our natural world. makes me happy knowing we can experience
      the beauty & nourishment life offers, wherever
      we are fortunate to be, rain or shine 🙂

  6. Michael

    I think we are united in ways we have yet to fully understand, and that at this level efforts to divide express an awkward truth about our attachments and misperceptions. We need good infrastructure of the heart to safely travel to beauty.


    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m most with you
      here and there, Michael!
      with your keen insight
      and clear expressions
      as secretary of transportation
      our crumbling infrastructure
      would be repaired and
      deep divisions, overcome 🙂

      1. inesephoto

        Oh David, what I see is just a tiny fraction of a bigger picture, but what I know for sure is that regardless of their good desires, people cannot save the world if they don’t help their neighbor who is in need first.:)

  7. Carol A. Hand

    Crucial questions for these and other times, David. Many of us know the wise answer, the answer that keeps us connected to others, the answer that builds loving, inclusive communities, the answer that makes divisiveness and domination more difficult. Let us continue traveling on the path that keeps us open and connected regardless of what others do…

    1. smilecalm Post author

      makes me happy knowing that we
      have a similar understanding of the infrastructure needed to go on as a humanity, Carol. i hope the academics and Native elders can be instrumental in helping guide, then forge community from every neighborhood, east to west, north to south 🙂

  8. Healing Grief

    I’m a bridge builder. I have seen such beauty and healing from crossing bridges in my life. Sometimes I have waited on the other side, too scared to cross into the unknown, but each time I do, I am always surprised what I discover about myself and the world around me. Always love your thought provoking posts David. Namaste 🙏🏻🌿🍃

    1. smilecalm Post author

      yes Karen
      and a very caring
      skillful bridge builder, at that!
      and the wise one’s seem to know
      the importance of experiencing
      the other side’s uncertainty 🙂

  9. Aquileana

    “If not for potholes & much bigger detours
    oh, the places I would go!”…

    I love those verses… Your words are deep… we all need as human citizens of this world: more bridges and more smooth roads, better to travel them easily and make connections and streghten our bonds!….
    Beautiful post… have a great weekend 😀 😉

    1. smilecalm Post author

      so beautifully & succinct my intention
      is expressed by your kind words, dear Aquileana! how wonderful to be connected with the most delicate of roads & bridges! may your day be well, david 🙂

  10. Dennis the Vizsla

    hello smilecalm its dennis the vizsla dog hay it seems to me that spending billyuns and billyuns on walls we dont need and wot wont wurk is a wayst of munny wot cud be better spent on like yoo sed rodes and bridjes and maybe on peepul but of korse nobuddy lissens to me on akkownt of i am just a dog!!! ok bye

  11. JoAnna

    Around my personal space, I like fences for privacy and to keep my dogs in, but there is always an unlocked gate and a door to knock on. Building a wall between countries would come at too great a cost, financially and otherwise. Better to build bridges to eliminate the need for walls between countries. I love your photo of the natural path among the ferns with the simple bridge and its interesting contrast with the other photos. When I look at the top photo of the road washed away leaving what reminds me of a crater, I can’t help but think of nature reclaiming her space, but I certainly don’t want anyone to get hurt or lose their home, and I can understand wanting to live on a hill or mountain – I would, if I could. In my region, people build roads and homes close to the ocean, then spend more money (including tax money) to try to keep the ocean from encroaching on their homes and roads. I’m not sure what the best solution is, but it’s something I wonder about.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for expressing the value of walls & fences, which resonates with my good fortune. to have a home to comfortably live in and a yard for personal space & doggies to play in, in relative private. somehow the footbridge was important in the mix; small but infinitely important. much of my childhood was living a mile from the pacific ocean. my consciousness has no doubt about the fate of houses along the bluffs; just a matter of time. living on hills certainly has its risks in calif, as the recent deluge rains have reminded us. i’m reminded of the native peoples i lived among and their emphasis at being in harmony. i can imagine portable dwellings, such as tepees and dirt roads that are easily moved or adapted with topography that shifts and earthquakes. wishing all safely in their homes, on their roads and in their crossing bridges. 🙂

  12. Mél@nie

    yep, our planet needs more steel bridges and foot-bridges… btw, I listened to Paul Simon’s song yesterday!!! 🙂 otherwise, we’ve had a natural huge “wall” between France & Spain, it’s called “les Pyrénées” – the Pyrénées mountains… 😀

    1. smilecalm Post author

      wonderful serendipity
      that we listened to the same song yesterday! oh, and i do like those natural “walls” of mountain ranges in France. may we continue strengthening our bridges keeping us connected. Wonderful video from France! I’ve also seen many of the other country’s clips vying for 2nd place 🙂

      1. Mél@nie

        yes, indeed… 🙂 speakin’ of those videos, please, check out Iceland and New Zealand – they’re beyond hilarious… 😀
        * * *
        have an inspiring week and good luck in all your endeavours, young man! 🙂

  13. JC

    No walls for me as they might keep out the very thing that’s needed. And I do travel light having rid myself of possessions that I don’t recognize anymore. Now to work on the mind by connecting mental bridges with words and a smile.

  14. Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

    Building bridges across nations is now needed as much and more than before. In my opinion we always have to prioritise peace first. About a borderless world – although it sounds ideal, I think it would hold its own set of problems. In reality, due to duality, nothing is absolutely ideal in practice, but most of the time we want our cake and eat it. For example, with no borders, cultural diversity would die out – imagine how boring the world would be if we were all exactly the same… cultural diversity is like a beautiful tapestry, imagine if we just used different shades of grey to make a tapestry. So, I can see the positives and negatives.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      appreciatively smiling to & agreeing with your commentary, Jean-Jacques! wonderful to have ideals, like John Lennon’s “imagine”, but going borderless is too extreme from where we are now. Bridges across nations is a most worthy endeavor. Nice to visit the peaceful natives on the other side 🙂

  15. AmyRose🌹

    David, your photographs had me wowing and one in particular had me thinking. I only have one wall and that is the Wall of Light that does not allow anything of harm to come near me or my family. Other then that I am open with bridges and roads in good repair. Bless you, dear friend, for getting the “message” out …. Much Love to you this day! ❤

    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your properly maintained thoroughfares & solidly built bridges, Hariod. Civil engineers of the heart have your great example of which to point neighbors 🙂

  16. Annika Perry

    I always love your all encompassing posts, David and this one is no exception! Beautiful photos – the first one made me gasp at the disappearing road – wonderful thoughtful writing taking in the personal and world events. Your links this time are exceptional and I’ve had a lovely time listening to The Freedom Singers and I am a Rock is on of my favourites of theirs. Whilst some build walls, we can only hope the majority build bridges!

    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you for building a bridge with your kind words & perspective, Annika! May more and more take down walls, repair roads and cross bridges, together . Nice to have inspiring music for the journey 🙂

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thanks for that alt-insight, Rosaliene!
      seems that those who can’t afford walls manage to get along with others next door.
      having a worldview with limitless bankroll & ignorance, walls are not a problem. unfortunately, after tax cuts for the wealthy and the military’s money-trap budget, we are faced with limited tax-payer bankroll; but not limited ignorance.
      may you be well 🙂

  17. Vicki

    I’ve never needed fences or walls but I do need personal space and moments of quiet to refresh and replenish my soul.

    I do need that Sound of Silence from the everyday chatter of voices and city sounds, although to be honest, I can shut out the noise if I want to. I learned how by several years working in a very noisy office. When it comes to fences and walls, be they present or not, they are merely obstacles in a world of give and take, a world of caring and sharing – giving so that others in need might receive.

  18. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Great post, David. I tend to like deviations from the straight road. If a bridge is out, well, climb around and see what is there. Certainly I like bridges better than walls. I think of the endangered jaguars in Mexico that don’t understand walls. Unfair to them as well as people. They need the land to live. We all do.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your gently walking
      the road less traveled, Mary!
      may the path be clear for other
      living things to get where
      they need to be for food,
      shelter and safety 🙂

  19. Sue Dreamwalker

    Excellent photographs David, showing the might of Nature when she roars her power to drive home a message perhaps?
    Your own message was well delivered David.. And my own road did start to crumble a little recently until I took myself in for repair.. Which some tender Love and Deep Meditation along with some of Natures own healing balm….
    Oh that more could let water under the bridge and allow themselves to mend bridges, and fill those wounds with love instead of allowing them to fester..
    Will Humanity ever Learn David? I think not.. I think Nature is showing us and will in fact teach us.. That there are more important things in life.. And without our Earth Mother none of us will have any safe walls to hide behind..

    Love and Blessings my wise friend… And I am pleased you had those four wall intact.. As I know how bad those storms were..
    Sending Love as you enjoy your week
    Sue xxx ❤

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for empathetically understanding, Sue! Everything changes, doesn’t it? Impermanence is the truth. Living in harmony with nature would offer humanity opportunity to carry on longer, I believe, than not living in harmony with nature. Sad those few with power drag along the vast majority down the path of ignorance. May we live as peacefully as we can so that what blooms next, whatever the weather, is beautiful. 🙂

  20. Sarah

    I suspect I’m a bit of a mollusc, David. I carry a thin wall around with me but I’m always willing to extend a couple of eye-stalks if things seem safe. 🙂
    I hope those roads get fixed soon.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      despite the challenge, i’m happy you’re willing to keep roads open when it feels safe, Sarah! may all our roads remain safe, potholes fixed 🙂

      1. Sarah

        There are always plenty of potholes in Ireland at this time of year but I’ve never seen any as big as the one in your photo. 🙂

  21. Michele Anderson

    No walls or fences for me, please! I need good safe roads and strong bridges so man and animal alike can find food and shelter, and maybe understanding and love can flow through too.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      wonderful how you’re a living example
      of a caring, skillful infrastructure builder, Michele! may your roads continue being scenic & safe 🙂

  22. Ka Malana -

    Thank you for all the roads and bridges that you build every day through your smile,calm 😊🌏

    I am grateful to connect via our shared avenues here, while we patiently watch and help nuture a happy Mother Earth, with the vision of all her people all comfy and with enough peace for exploring! Meanwhile witnessing and considering, and reflecting…

    Aloha, Ka


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