Next door.

I love stories with magical doors. Usually the plot involves a quest of some kind, a journey from Point A to Point B (or, in many cases, from Point A back round to Point A with some detours in between), in which the protagonist is somehow profoundly changed. The doors aren’t merely practical considerations or decor enhancements – passing through usually involves a trial of some sort.

I’ve been thinking about this as related to some recent wrestling with the complexities of life. How we can be both drawn and repelled by what’s on the other side of a door. How our need for adventure or change might compel us to venture through, or how our fear of uncertainty can be paralyzing enough to keep us where we are. How we’re sometimes offered a choice of doors; multiple opportunities that we can choose to take (or choose to leave).

And in other situations, how the act of passing through one particular massive, ugly gate is necessary to our survival.

In any case, we’re never quite the same people when we come out the other side.

(Today I added to my collection of door photos. This is becoming a strange but satisfying hobby).

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Door to door.

I’ve started my door collection.

With a half hour to kill earlier tonight, I sped through a few downtown blocks on foot, looking for doors.

Representing both an entrance and an exit, freedom and confinement, protection and isolation, beginnings and endings – doors are simple but compelling symbols. A door is an edge; a boundary – sometimes guarded or locked – marking the transition from one state to another.

Once I started looking, I couldn’t help but wonder how we choose to represent the entrances to our public and private dwellings. What does the style of a door say about how we’d like to be perceived? How welcoming we are (or not)? What someone might expect to find on the other side? It’s in our nature to be intrigued by the burning question of what’s behind a closed door (or inside a closed box).

I don’t know what’s behind every one of tonight’s doors. Maybe some day I’ll venture inside…but for now I think I’ll just admire them from out here.