Friday, February 25, 2011

Down from the door where it began

Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to --JRR Tolkien.
Doors are to venture out of, too.   I am in the middle of that season, with 4 kids who are 18 and over.   It seems like another paradox to add to the one about doors both allowing and denying entrance....   doors as means of coming and going.   And seasons of going out in different ways, different times, according to the child and the opportunities. 

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
I woke up too early this morning and so instead of sheep I set out (mentally) to count doors. The tally:

Our house has 20 doors -- if you count the closet doors.   
If you don't count the closet doors, our house has 12 doors.   There are 8 closets with doors.... 5 are in rooms and there are 3 that are built into walls, and then the pantry.  I know that is 9, but one closet happens to be missing its door. 

Three of the doors lead outside.... 1 to the front, 1 to the garage, 1 to the deck.

So 9 doors enter into rooms..... 4 bedrooms, 1 office/study, 2 bathrooms, 1 laundry room and 1 mudroom/airlock between the real outdoors and the place you take off your boots (in theory -- in reality they always go through both doors before they get their boots off).

A lot of our doors don't work for one reason or another.  Maybe that can be a parallel for my difficulty in transition.   I so clearly remember my oldest being a baby and now he's the age I was when he was a baby, and he's living just a few blocks from where we lived back then.   It is good and right but still I feel like I am not caught up with the way things are now.

(Counting doors is not as soporific as counting sheep is said to be.  Instead I ended up obsessively counting and recounting.  Maybe I would do that with sheep, too.  On the other hand, I have no doubt that reading about someone else's doors in satisfyingly soporific.)

So, roads stretching out from doors..... leave-takings and returns.  That is another aspect of doors!  And getting glimpses through them, too!   It is really interesting how you walk through a door within a house, like into a kid's bedroom, and suddenly you are in a different space.    There is mystery here, that is dwelt on in more depth in Thomas Howard's next chapter about the four walls of the house.   

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment. Carl Sandburg
Looking into the future is like that, too, I think.  The Latin word for door was "janus" and January is named after the two-faced god Janus, with one face looking behind to the past and one looking towards the future.    I suppose in that way the present is the hinge or door to both directions.  Hmm!    Another significance of doors!

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