Introduction | “…Of Stone & Flesh.”

by: Terrence A. Merkerson

“…there is a difference between being convinced and being stubborn. I’m not certain what the difference is, but I do know that if you butt your head against a stone wall long enough, at some point you realize the wall is stone and that your head is flesh and blood.”

Maya Angelou

Those few lines have so many layers. One way to receive this quote is to help us better understand the line between the actual and the abstract. What we would identify as flesh and blood is represented by our individual thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. The stone wall symbolizes the world and society’s reception of our varying consciousnesses.

General perceptions on varying socioeconomic and cultural issues have created a wall that stands as the standard of the collective consciousness. It provides us with guidelines, customs and social norms to follow, to shape how we receive and understand the world around us. Where the flesh fails, the stone is strong. The fault in the wall is its rigidness; its unwillingness to give way unless forced to. The wall is stubborn.

Individual consciousnesses serve as the fundamental building blocks of the collective. This is comparable to one’s moral compass, individual beliefs, thoughts and feelings. They are essentially our individual reactions and responses to “butting our heads against the wall”. Where the stone fails, the flesh is strong. The fault in the flesh is its fluidity; its ability to be changed or swayed after hitting the wall. The flesh is as reasonable or as unreasonable as it chooses to be. It’s a matter of the strength of conviction.

The most significant exchange between the flesh and the stone is the exchange itself; The impact of the flesh against the stone. The impact is symbolic of dialogue, discussion, and the exchanging of ideas and experiences. The impact can either weaken or strengthen one’s conviction. The weak will never puncture the stone wall. The strong, eventually, will force the wall to fail. It only takes a crack. The wall will never fail completely and it never should.

The Wars. The Movements. Terrorism (in its many forms). These are times the wall cracked and was forced to re-plaster with newly accepted standards. It is not the strength or weakness of the flesh or the stone that determines what fails, it is the power and consistency of the impact.

This is a domain in which the impact is conceived. Welcome to Avenue Fifteen.


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