Friday, November 04, 2011

the door collector

Doors red, blue, brown, white standard sizes, white one skinny closet door. one blue with window and glass, I collect doors but can't take them! 10 each

That is an actual line from a Craig's List ad. The person was moving and listing a variety of things for sale. After the hand-painted boogie board and before the list of mirrors was this list. Doors.

Collecting doors? Maybe he or she didn't want to miss Opportunity. It might knock on the beige one with the half-circle of stained glass at the top. Or, it might favor the steel door, impenetrable though it may seem. The screen door, flapping gayly open and closed through summer nights might be where it comes to call, or the one painted white and red with the ornate handle.

The call and the challenge for the writer is to notice. Through this year of chaos, I try. Often anymore, it is the only thing I can do. I can't seem to do anything about things, either because they are out of my control to begin with or because I notice them while walking a fussy baby, or while falling into bed, exhausted.

Before I moved, I had started on a longer work, now temporarily abandoned, that deals with my mom's passing and my tendency to search for and, by turns, embrace or reject what might be signs of messages from the other side. One of the main things I am grappling with in writing it – or should I say grappling with and so writing it in hopes of at least (and this is no small part) laying bare the questions though the answers may never find me – is even if I were to find what I believe with all my being is a sign, so what? A sign of...? The meaning of which is...? Because of it I'm supposed to believe...?

That's where the noticing comes in. For now, I just notice. It is what it is, as they say. What to do with the information, I have no idea.

I just notice, for example, that my mother declined open heart surgery before she died. And that the last time I saw her was in a cardio ICU unit. I just notice that a year after her passing I had a baby that requires open heart surgery. And that I will be spending time with him in a cardio ICU unit.

I also notice that I have bought a house with a lot of issues regarding doors and passage ways. I refer to it regularly as a Feng Shui nightmare. None of the doors to the rooms close right, entrances are obstructed, unnecessarily complicated, blocked. If everything in the world wasn't at the top of my priority list right now, from buying winter boots to scheduling surgery, I'd say I'd have those doors fixed ASAP. My baby, born to this house in so many strange ways – born at home the night we moved in, his middle name meaning “new house...” -- has passages in his heart that are blocked and other spaces that are open where they aren't supposed to be. Just noticing.

I laughed and laughed at the door collector when I first hit upon it. But really, why should this hobby be any odder than any of our other neuroses? French doors teeming with possibility. Barn doors with their two halves swinging independently. We live among closet doors, pocket doors, solid wood doors with see-through key holes. All the while, looking for a way out


Daryl said...

or a way in .. I could use that screen door ..

DeVona said...

Very thoughtful and welcome post! Thank you! I, too, am grappling with the death of both my parents within the span of one year, and am on quite a roller coaster ride of emotions...just trying to hang on at this point!

Kitty said...

Daryl - yes, a way in, that makes sense.
DeVona - I'm so glad it was helpful for you. I didn't know you've also lost your dad now.
Struggling with whether to post more stuff about dumb struggles with doctors.

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