Marina and I have had to take quite a few important decisions recently. But come to think of it, that’s what our lives have been like for decades! We’ve walked through a few interesting corridors of life and have decided to walk through some doors with a lot of hope and sometimes limited knowledge of what we might find after passing through. We’ve changed jobs, bought, built and sold houses, moved to different countries, and so on. Usually with some idea of what to expect, but often things have worked out somewhat differently.
So doorways can be daunting, risky, even scary. How scary, depends on a number of things – are we opening that door alone, or are we rushing through with our families? I think about how we decided to leave South Africa in the mid-90’s, moving our young family to Ghana for an estimated two years. This turned out to be a very good choice and we stayed for six years, when we uprooted again and moved to The Netherlands. Both of these decisions felt a bit risky at the time, but turned out be good ones. With the benefit of hindsight, the doors had looked more intimidating before we opened them, than they turned out to be.
Windows are easier, you can look through at the view outside, while comfortably in your own space. (Or space that you inhabit as a guest.)
You will already know that my family and I have been fortunate – we have travelled to many locations around the world. Now you will also realise that I am always interested in doors and doorways. I don’t know why, maybe just because they look pretty, but perhaps also since old doors carry a sense of history and for me they always beg the questions: Who built them? What was protected behind them, or who passed through them, going where?
Many of us are still travelling much less than we’d like to, and many of you may still (or again!) be “locked down” into a house or apartment by covid-19 regulations. Now that we often have to look at our doors from the inside, they have started to represent prison doors rather than opportunities. Which brings me back to windows… we are spending more time online with zoom meetings providing views into other people’s rooms and we are probably also spending more time looking through the various “windows” provided by Netflix or similar services. This is certainly true for me too, but I’m also finding myself looking at through windows into the past provided by my own pictures, some of which I’m sharing here.
Some comments about doorways as decision points: As we progress through life, we sometimes make conscious decisions requiring a lot of thought and planning, before we open a door and step through. However, as I look back, I realise that we’ve sometimes walked through a doorway without realising it. A famous quote by the Danish philosopher (etc.) Soren Kierkegaard comes to mind: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” True. So while I am now trying to understand and describe my life experiences in the past, I’m hoping for many more exciting doorways to pass through in the future.
What are your own feelings about the doors that you have walked through, during your life? O that you still want to?