Little Foxes and Trespass

אֶֽחֱזוּ־לָ֙נוּ֙ שֽׁוּעָלִ֔ים שֽׁוּעָלִ֥ים קְטַנִּ֖ים מְחַבְּלִ֣ים כְּרָמִ֑ים וּכְרָמֵ֖ינוּ סְמָדַֽר׃

(Song of Songs 2.15)

My frequent walks past the beautiful and historic First Church of Christ Scientist, Berkeley (on the corner of Dwight Way and Bowditch, across from People’s Park) serve as a constant reminder of a seemingly pervasive unwillingness to protest such a minor infraction as trespass. Trespasses are minor in that any objection to their presence/operation is dismissed as pettiness, selfishness, or even rudeness on the part of the one objecting.

Collaboration is not synonymous with having all things in common. It requires the exercise of care with respect to various boundaries amongst collaborators. To willfully pass beyond such borders or to overstay one's welcome is to trespass (from the Latin transpassare: to pass beyond). These minor infractions can destabilize the integrity of one’s personal space, time and being leading to resentment, distrust and unease. The plight of First Church of Christ Scientist, Berkeley is a poignant reminder that it is indeed the little foxes that spoil the vineyard.