Doors

Yes, they can open and close and perhaps a window could open for you as well. It’s happened for me.

The first doors I remember were on a home I moved into at age eight. They were solid wood Dutch doors painted red. I could release a peg and open the top, with diamond windows, let in air and see the view. That home had 60 casement windows operated by crank, and a few “picture windows” that were a standard size. I’d love to see that home again.

The Dutch doors gave me a window to see the outdoors when I was eight and my mother didn’t want me to go outside. My kindergarten class was held in an historic home with Victorian windows but only a few unremarkable doors.

The door to my 2nd floor classroom was always a challenge until my dear teacher made me sit up front and then go to the back with another student to read 4th and 5th grade literature as all the other students didn’t know how to read so they began teaching phonics. Steven’s and my parents objected to phonics as I was already reading Anne Frank’s diary and Death Be Not Proud at home. Now there’s an open door.

A closed door was omnipresent when I went to junior and senior high school at a racist school that did not teach. When I moved back north I had remedial classes I passed with honors and earned a small stipend for college.

Ah, the doors in high school. My last two years I’d run home (it was open campus), hop into the pool then go back to class, and spend hours in the summer evenings doing gymnastics with male and female colleagues. We learned so much from each other, being separated in training every day in school. I used to use the 4′ wrestling mat to try flips. What a stinky room, whew! I learned my best trick on the bars there and that we girls didn’t get strength training. I was the team captain and we had to know what the guys were learning.

To the doors of knowledge. Two professors put it all together me starting sophomore year. I got history through art and sociology and, yes, history and religion. My dear profs are gone now. I kept in touch with one for many years.

The porta clausa is an image found in some artistic works by historic artists. It means that the door was closed and Mary was visited by an angel and told of her mission to bear a son. I did a study of annunciations and tried to visit many. My favorites are Donatello’s in Santa Croce and Fra Angelico’s at San Marco, both in Florence.

Work after college opened some doors. I worked in government, as a lobbyist, in a couple of restaurants in the kitchen, consultant to non-profit organizations and as a 20 year volunteer.

That door was opened when I decided to volunteer in the memory of my brother and sister’s dog. That door was closed. I opened another by stepping in and doing everything from kennels, cattery, public relations. I sat by one dog’s side even with me in a neck brace, for a year. She was afraid of men (abused by a deputy sheriff) and kids (stoned in the back yard of said sheriff).

It was one of the first of US no-kill shelters but a fellow volunteer told me they had a meeting to put her down. The adoptions chief said wait a week. Next day I had her home, for ten years. She and my old cat, also a rescue, slept in the same position three feet away. My young cat moved in at nine weeks, a rescue from the same organization, in bed with the dog and stayed there for a year.

My dog Chani opened a door for me and many others, and the neighborhood planted a tree that I can now see on Google Earth, for her, in 2001. Another rescue needed us at five weeks of age and that is our Zoe. She grew her own hips and is the happiest dog, after 20 years of volunteering, I’ve ever met. She’s sleeping behind my chair and taking good care of me. If there were two open doors I love most today, they are my dear husband and dog.

Cheers! Dee

 

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