Write Your Story… Doors

The Story Behind a Door

 Submitted by the Union City Library Member Rita K.

At Discover —I recently asked Divyakshi Gupta- a photographer and traveler based in Mumbai — about her obsession with doors:

I often think doors are veils to homes. Each have a distinct character, speaking volumes of the people living behind the door. It’s fun to guess what could possibly be behind a door — an array of secrets, emotions, and mysteries. A home with laughter, heartaches, hopes, banter, and more.

Behind every door is a story, says Divyakshi. I love this thought: that any door you encounter — while walking through your neighborhood or exploring a new place — can lead to a story, an opportunity, or a glimpse into another’s life.

For this Discover Challenge, let’s focus on a door. You’re free to interpret this challenge as you see fit, and respond in any genre or medium, as long as a door — real or imagined — is your primary inspiration. Ideas:

 

▪ Memoirists and nonfiction writers: Tell us about the time you were hesitant to physically enter a building. Share a story about the childhood home you miss. Describe a day when you felt, symbolically, that a door to something new opened, or a door to your past closed.

▪ Short story and fiction writers: Creatively use a door as the main setting of your story. Personify a door in your tale.

▪ Poets: Write a haiku or sonnet — or your preferred poetic form — about a door, or entering or exiting a place or phase in your life.

▪ Photographers: Get inspired by the doors of India captured by Divyakshi, or these doors I’ve photographed on my travels, then get outside and capture your own.

▪ Artists: Draw a door you’ve encountered while out on a walk, illustrate a door in your own home, or sketch a doorway during a museum visit.

For this challenge, the door is wide open.

DOORS:  Insights & Comments

Transition and metamorphosis are the most common ideas represented by the symbol of the door; it is a passage from one place to another, between different states, between lightness and darkness. According to Julien, the act of passing over the threshold signifies that one must leave behind his materialism and personality to confront inner silence and meditation. It is abandoning the old and embracing the new; an open door signifies welcome and invites discovery and investigation, while a closed door represents rejection, protection, secrecy, exclusion, and imprisonment.

Is a feminine symbol in connection with the hole that it leads to, the vagina; the antithesis of the wall. Doors hold the essence of mystery, separating two distinct areas, keeping things apart. They are a barrier, a boundary, which must be negotiated, before the threshold can be crossed. The mysterious beyond is hidden from sight by the closed door, and some sort of action must be taken before the other side becomes visible and available to us. The closed door is full of potential, for anything might lie beyond, as yet unknown and unseen. Yet the closed door may also be limiting, preventing us ever gaining access to its hidden contents.

Sometimes gaining access may be as simple as approaching and turning the handle, but perhaps the door is locked. Then we need to knock or ring the bell and negotiate with the guardian or keeper of the door. Saying the right words, or holding the correct credentials will then secure our passage. This theme recurrs in countless fairytales and myths, from Ali Baba to Cuchulin. Belonging to the club or group which lies within, or paying the doorkeeper might also secure passage, but some doors remain stubbornly closed, unless you hold the key.

The doors may remain closed to protect those who live within, or to maintain a secret, or to keep a space sacred and to keep out the profane. These nunnery doors are heavily fortified, and their protective powers are boosted by the stone guardians watching from above. Lions, bulls and flames are frequent guardian symbols found on and around doors, adding to the protective qualities of the barrier.

So when we face a closed door, we face a choice. What action will we take? Will we turn back defeated by the barrier,or will we push forwards and attempt to gain access? The nature of the door itself, and its guardians may well shape our choice, helping us decide if we will feel comfortable with what lies beyond. The symbolism of a door closing on us, is one of an opportunity fading, of a potential now lost to us.. That way no longer lies open to us without negotiation and effort.

The symbolism of a door opening to us, is one of exciting new potential. The block which stood before us has now been removed and we are free to move forwards, and to cross the threshold into something new. We are invited forwards into change, with nothing to negotiate except the transition of one place to another. The guardian of the threshold is welcoming us forwards. Change beckons us with open arms.

So the door is protective guarding the doorway, denying or allowing passage through from one place or one state to another. The symbolism of the door is closely bound with the symbols of doorways and thresholds, and of keys and locks, hinges and handles, bells and guardians. The door itself either allows movement forwards or prevents it, and in this way we can see the door as a symbol of duality, as it is either closed or open, locked or unlocked.

SYMBOLISM OF DOORS

Doors hold the essence of mystery, separating two distinct areas, keeping things apart. They are a barrier, a boundary, which must be negotiated, before the threshold can be crossed. The mysterious beyond is hidden from sight by the closed door, and some sort of action must be taken before the other side becomes visible and available to us. The closed door is full of potential, for anything might lie beyond, as yet unknown and unseen. Yet the closed door may also be limiting, preventing us ever gaining access to its hidden contents.

Sometimes gaining access may be as simple as approaching and turning the handle, but perhaps the door is locked. Then we need to knock or ring the bell and negotiate with the guardian or keeper of the door. Saying the right words, or holding the correct credentials will then secure our passage. This theme recurrs in countless fairytales and myths, from Ali Baba to Cuchulin. Belonging to the club or group which lies within, or paying the doorkeeper might also secure passage, but some doors remain stubbornly closed, unless you hold the key.

The doors may remain closed to protect those who live within, or to maintain a secret, or to keep a space sacred and to keep out the profane. These nunnery doors are heavily fortified, and their protective powers are boosted by the stone guardians watching from above. Lions, bulls and flames are frequent guardian symbols found on and around doors, adding to the protective qualities of the barrier.

When we face a closed door, we face a choice. What action will we take? Will we turn back defeated by the barrier,or will we push forwards and attempt to gain access? The nature of the door itself, and its guardians may well shape our choice, helping us decide if we will feel comfortable with what lies beyond. The symbolism of a door closing on us, is one of an opportunity fading, of a potential now lost to us.. That way no longer lies open to us without negotiation and effort.

Symbolism of a door opening to us, is one of exciting new potential. The block which stood before us has now been removed and we are free to move forwards, and to cross the threshold into something new. We are invited forwards into change, with nothing to negotiate except the transition of one place to another. The guardian of the threshold is welcoming us forwards. Change beckons us with open arms.

So the door is protective guarding the doorway, denying or allowing passage through from one place or one state to another. The symbolism of the door is closely bound with the symbols of doorways and thresholds, and of keys and locks, hinges and handles, bells and guardians. The door itself either allows movement forwards or prevents it, and in this way we can see the door as a symbol of duality, as it is either closed or open, locked or unlocked.

The root of the English word door lies in the Sanskrit word Duarah, which means two doors or gates. From this comes the Greek Thura, the German Tur, Middle English Dure or Dor, Old Norse Dyrr and these all mean door. We also find the Gaulish Doro which means mouth, giving us an interesting image of the lips as double doors to our mouths and the words beyond. A guarded way in and out of our bodies.

Write Your Story

@

the Union City Library


eiffel_tower_blue
Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Sharing is optional.

Meetings take place

Third Tuesday of the month

 November 15 & December 20

and January 17

 1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Please  bring pen & paper

Union City Library 510-284-0629

 

 

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