July 12, 2021

By Arthur H. Gunther III


     Stare at a door long enough, and it will open by itself. No, this isn’t telekinesis, merely but sometimes profoundly, a memory trip.

     We open and close, leave open and close doors throughout our existence, letting people, thoughts and life itself in or ushered out or kept out. We are at times hermits and social butterflies, frowns and smiles, sadness, exhilaration.

     Yet, if at all possible, and it must prove so if individuality is kept, we are the masters of the door. It hangs on hinges so that we can open or close, though others, sometimes uninvited, do the same.

     The locks on our doors are psychological keys to our personality, though obviously tempered by time and place. The multiple locks in urban setting speak to safety. The smart phone-connected cameras that accompany locks and doors today are about safety, yes, but also mistrust and worry in a vastly different age. Many, many doors of the past had long lost their keys, the welcome mat in place, even for the near stranger.

     The teen who stares at his of her childhood door, noticing the same paint chips, the remnants of posters and the lower smudges of the elementary school years is now in anticipation of going through that passage for the last time, off to college, off to life and other doors.

     Life drawing to a close sees the individual remembering in flashes of memory what happened as the door opened and closed, opened and closed.

     New to a house, to a room, memories begin for others as they glance, maybe stare at doors soon to be companions to life, to memories.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.