Stone Walls.  Walls of Fire.  Brick Walls.  Adobe Walls.  Firewalls.  Wooden Walls.  Steel Walls.  And the list goes on.

Walls are not bridges or viaducts.  Walls are solid structures made to contain that which is precious and keep out that which is harmful.  Walls are a form of protection from elemental hazards which may be unwelcome.

Some walls have breaks or may be broken.  Some have doors which may not be opened from the outside.  Some walls have doors that cannot be open from the inside or outside.  Some have doors which cannot be opened by the person encased therein and yet the person or persons are not prisoners or treated as such.

A dry stone wall, in Limeuil, Dordogne, France

A dry stone wall, in Limeuil, Dordogne, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The only type of walls that are not walls at all, are imaginary walls.  These are a figment of the imagination and as such are not solid structures.    They are not defences and offer no protection.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that they infect the mind.

There are walls of varying heights and depths and widths but their purpose has ever been the same.  Their construct may vary according to draughtsman or craftsman and orders; and their quality depends on the builder and his workmen.

Walls are not solely about containment or protection.  There are walls that are also markers, identifiers and signposts.  These walls too are solid. 

Walls whatever their type are never ephemeral or imaginary.  A cloth or canvas wall as every other wall is physical; and like the walls of a fortress or home have the same attributes and purpose. To protect, to shield, to identify, to signpost, to contain, to mark.

A wall therefore is a sign.  The quality and type of wall, is also a sign.