Sunday, February 6, 2011

Doorways to New Beginnings

I have a thing about doors. I know ... strange ... doors. Why doors? I'm not sure when it began but I started noticing them. I mean really noticing them. How beautiful they were. Some simple in design and material used. Some intricate and ornate, complex in both design and scope. Believe it or not, I wanted to create a museum of doors. Really ... honest.

My "door thing" revved into full gear on a trip to Russia. I went with a bunch of Special Education teachers with People to People. In addition to talking with our Russian counterparts in education, we, of course, saw the sites. Russia is an amazing place, rich in history and culture. Otherworldly, in a way that places we never imagined we would ever see can often be. Oh ... but their doors.

I was fascinated, intrigued, captivated. I had to reach out and touch every door I saw. That became the running joke: There's Erika touching another door! I actually got reprimanded by a guard in one of the museums. Oops. Guess I wasn't supposed to touch that one.

Somehow, reaching out and touching the doors helped me to connect to the history, the grandeur of it all. Someone took the time to consider the door - how it should look. They had a vision for this structure. And they knew that the door was the opening to it all. It would set the tone for how people would be received, how people would be embraced. Would they be intimidated, feel threatened? Would they understand that the occupants were formidable opponents? Or would they instantly sense an air of welcoming and friendship? Did they, as I did upon entering one of the oldest cathedrals, feel an instant divine reverence ... a hush as if they knew they were entering sacred ground?

I guess at the heart of my obsession is the idea of what doors represent: they are the beginning, the gateway to possibilities, the openings to new worlds. All we have to do is reach out and open up.