Subject: Re: Border stories
Wonderful topic Paolo and Cova.

Cova wrote:

"Frontiers mark lives the same as rivers. Having someone different so near you can open your eyes to other ways of understanding the world in a much better way that any book you could read."

Wow Cova! That is the most powerful piece I've read on this forum. I'm surprised more Ziners haven't picked up on this thread. After all isn't crossing borders one of the main reasons we travel? And not just political borders. We cross emotional, social, and geographical borders in our travels. We yearn to remove ourselves from the familiar and experience the different. One doesn't need to cross a political boundary to accomplish this. City dwellers head to the country to feel the open space. They cross the border from urban to rural. Country folk head to the city to enjoy the culture, the fast-pace, the people. The border crossed is a social one. But still a border.

For myself it is quite easy to understand Paolo's melancholy in observing the removal of the physical structures that marked the border between Italy and Slovenia. The memories of the millions of people who spent their lives along that border will not so easily disappear. Unfortunately where I live the border's physical nature has grown dramatically in the last few years. As a child the border upon which I live was marked simply by a chain-link fence. Today there are three 12 ft. high solid steel walls that run along that border (and some wish for another to be built). Crossing that border from my perspective has become inconvenient and time-consuming. But when I try to look at that border through the eyes of my neighbor I realize that for them crossing the same border is a matter of life and death.

Paolo, I look forward to the day that the steel walls come down on my border. Undoubtedly I'll feel melancholy about my lost youth spent along this border but there will be no sadness for the razing of that metal barrier.

John in San Diego