Friday, August 26, 2011

Walls With Integrity

dry stone wall diagram 274x300 Connect to history with Dry Stone Walls
Thanks to the Dry Stone Conservancy for this image

What are the principle elements that make a dry good stone wall?

Good stones for sure.
Then friction and gravity.
Then good bonding and fitting of contours.
Plus there's an assimilating thousands of years of history and tradition.
Then there are things like honesty and consistency throughout the construction process, including a thoroughness in hearting and the placing of all the stones that nobody will see.
This involves an integrity of character. That's part of a wall too.
This implies that the wall be built by someone who knows something about honesty, kindness and compassion.
A respect and appreciation for the principles of bonding includes a commitment to the maintaining of friendships.
Loyalty and fairness are important aspects of a wallers character and these traits will show in his or her work too.
Enjoying what you do, enjoying the work not just thinking of it as a job, is a key element of an above average wall.
Commitment to ethics, not just the minimum of civility, is essential.

Just because there is no mortar doesn't mean it's disconnected and has nothing actually holding it together
There is something in there.
It is invisible, but you can see it.
A respectable upright character is what you'll need if you want to have a good wall that stays together and isn't phony .
Meanness of spirit will cause the wall to look ugly, tense and unstable, even if it is built adhering to the other basic wall building principles.
A critical eye will not necessarily build a particularly good wall either.
Anyone can spot mistakes and point them out to people publicly.
But can you make stones sing, or construct walls that inspire or bring stones and people together so that they get along in a positive productive way?

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