Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Perception Of Doors

In my mind, I keep going back to what must have been a dozen different images from comedies on TV and movies where an overzealous police officer breaks down a door only to discover moments later that the door was unlocked all the time. All that splintered wood and bent hinges and red faces all around. That's the thing about doors: they aren't permanent barriers, only temporary. They are put in their places to provide a break in all that masonry. Closed doors are about quiet and privacy. Open doors are welcoming. It's all just a matter of checking the latch and turning the knob. Outside. Inside.
I mention this because I've had my struggles with doors. I prefer them to be open, allowing people to walk in or out. When the doors are open, we can see what is happening in the other room. You can hear someone call your name. Sometimes the door gets closed to keep in the heat, or to keep out the noise. That makes sense. But sometimes doors get closed to keep people out. Sometimes doors aren't just closed, they're slammed shut.
I've slammed my share of doors. It's supposed to be punctuation, some sort of exclamation point to the exit. It has the added effect of putting your troubles on the other side of that door. Yanking that door shut makes a big noise and creates a wall. Now what?
In a perfect world, everyone would understand and accept the meaning of that slammed door. "Sorry, we are closed." The less reasonable of us will see that as a challenge. Far too often, I have seen that door slam as an opportunity to test my own knowledge of the way doors work by throwing it back open. Then, just as abruptly after my own pithy bon mot, I can slam it closed myself, thank you. "I said, 'Good day!'"
But doors aren't just angry punctuation. When the door is opened from the other side and you see a smiling face, the wall comes tumbling down. Doors are an option. Quiet or noisy. Warm or cold. Open. Closed. Yes. No.
It took me a long time for me to fully comprehend them, but doors are pretty special.

1 comment:

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