The Inner Workings of Walls

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Most have never looked beneath the surface of a wall, or even considered doing such a thing.

A wall is not seen as an object of substance, and therefore not thought of as having depth, or in this case — inner workings.

What walls do, cannot be explained merely on the basis of color and texture. Just like skin, which is “skin deep”, the smooth surface of a wall is deceptive and can easily suggest simple answers to all suggestions of deeper things.

People have often responded, perplexed, when asked, “what’s behind this wall?”

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Once, as a child, when I had measured the rooms of our house, I was intrigued by the discovery of what appeared to be (by implication of my measurements) an unexplained space in a wall. There was the fireplace, there was the bookcase, and now, here — the empty place.

Beneath all stairways, in every situation, without exception, there is a space. It’s as if the ascension of the stairway, like the acceleration of a rocket, requires something equal and opposite. When the design of the house was negotiated, the living room declared, “If you are going to leave my room and go upstairs to another room, then you will leave with me — your emptyness.” “Cursed are you above all constructions, stairway. For leading a man where he should not go, you will forever be half-useless and the haunt of spiders, a Tower of Babel in the DNA of every double-floored home.”

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Don’t be surprised.

Imagine what you thought the first time you looked under the hood of a car and saw — all those things. The car had done a pretty good job of hiding its inner workings. Perhaps you thought it just moved — all by itself.

Yes, and so it is with the inner workings of walls. The engine revealed. The machine unmasked.

Woven within white wind, we whispered; what wonder was worked with walls.

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