The Door-Part 2

 

About A Door

 

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”~ Eugene O’Neil

Salvaged from a shed, the door is a simple piece of architecture. That’s probably the reason it caught my fancy, once upon a time. Years later, I’m still bewitched by the simple lines and the Art Deco glass. Even the cracked ceramic “push” plates lend charm and whimsy to the vintage door.

Neglected, it weathered. Watermarks left discolouration on the grain that sanding couldn’t remove. I painted it. Lightly. Forgive me.

Two thin slips of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White took the door from dull to bright. A light touch from the sanding block, distressed and smoothed the surface.  After a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax, the polishing cloth skated over the grain.

The broken panes of glass were removed using needle nose pliers (Safety Tip- wear gloves). One cracked pane remains. This glass is known as “leadlight” and is associated with architecture that is geometric in detail. Small sections of glass are supported in lead cames. Unfortunately, leadlight glass is expensive to replace and today, there are few people trained in the art of repair.

I stand before the door and close both eyes. My hand pushes upon the ceramic plate. The door leaning against the wall opens to show a wooded path. In the distance is a cottage. Rays of sunlight sparkle between the evergreen boughs. I remember.

Water tumbles beyond the cottage grounds. Hummingbirds whir. Closer still, I see wild roses in bloom and ivy inching up the crumbling brick chimney. And there you are. Seated beside the window, warmed by the stove, you lift a cup of tea to your lips. Our eyes meet.  Do you remember? 

I stand upon the threshold and wait for what seems an eternity. You smile and beckon me to enter. “I’ve been waiting,” you say. “Sit down and talk awhile.”

 

“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.”
― Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

 

 

About A Door

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Years ago I discovered this door at an auction. The auction site was far from the city and “Junking” wasn’t the swishy chic business that it is today. I can not explain the allure to vintage. It is a portal to the past. Perhaps “old”appears truer, faithful, stronger. Or do certain pieces conjure an emotional response? Mirrored moments of love lost, coveted memories, and poignant sorrow from regret. That which we toss or lose, from people to things.

All of the above musings ring true. I also appreciate the dedication to craft, whether it be writing, painting, music or woodworking. The rewrites, brushstrokes, the sound bites, the turn of a leg or the dove tailed edges of a drawer, all suggest old world quality and showcase the artisan’s passion. Maybe it’s the passion piece that grabs, an ageless love that forever shines.

Yet what is it about a door? Throw open the door to reunion. Boot through the door in the heat of crime. Lock the door. Unlock it. Shut the door.

There is an old soul that lives in me. She flows through my eyes to show the house where the door once stood. “Open the door,” she whispers and my hand reaches forth to push upon the cracked ceramic plate. We stand in the kitchen, voyeurs of a life. She gestures to the heart of the room. A wooden table graces the centre. Flour is scattered on top,  a rolling-pin waits. We’ve come home.

***

I recall that day in the valley. The auction house was empty of people. Cast off pieces from lives lived dumped along hallways and atop sideboards. Did anyone care? The door leaned against a wall. Solid oak, it waited. Tall amidst a short pile of old metal watering cans, wooden handled rakes and a box of battered licence plates, it stood out-of-place. There was something bespoke about its simple yet majestic presence. Was it the art deco glass that elevated the door from humble to proud?

I paused, fell in love, tossed in a bid and left with a door.

Sadly, I left the door in an aging shed. For thirty years it lay on a wooden floor.  Forgotten, it languished in darkness, gathering dust. Spider egg sacs clung to the edges and nestled in the crooks and crannies. Moisture weathered the finish. It waited for someone to remember.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I wrestled it into the light. Gently, I cleaned and polished the glass, dusted off the egg sacs and sanded the oak.

Magic flowed and imagination sparked. We entered into a dance of sorts. My hands held the sandpaper block as fingers pressed and moved in step with the oak grain. I stepped away and judged. Far too lovely to lay dismissed in a shed.

An architectural piece, it will serve as a symbol of hope, “One door closes, another opens.” Its quiet presence states, grace others that stand on the threshold.

What is this door’s story?

I envision a rambling estate in the English countryside. Laughter rings from the cutting garden. Wee children flit as fairies do amongst the hollyhocks and sunflowers. A man walks the  long gravel path to the once well appointed home. He lifts his hat and knocks upon the door. It opens…

A feather drifted to the ground…

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Through an open window she heard notes. At first the soft pitter- patter of sound that quickly gathered to pounding momentum. Outside, a staccato rhythm clipped the walkway. From the heavens came the boom clap of thunder and then a whisper in the pause: I love you. I am by your side.

Slowly she rose to standing. Broken memories glittered about her feet.

A current hummed within the stillness. Fireflies flitted through the open window to hover above a wooden desk. The glow from a hundred glimmers of light lit upon the blank pages of a waiting notebook.

The story was hers to write in all of its beautiful form. Piece by piece, the memories altered, mended, whole. The largest piece, the foundation, evidence of a fierce strength and an enduring love, shone brightest.

***

 

Her fingers reach to lift the fallen pen from the ground. One hand shields her eyes to the sun. She gazes up to the place he waits. The clouds have thinned. The air is silent. The storm has ended.

Bare feet stand in a small pool of freshly fallen rainwater. Sunshine warms the asphalt. She takes a breath and lets the steamy heat rise up through her lovely bones. A hot breeze playfully slaps her cheek.

From the pecan tree comes birdsong so lilting, notes mirror a symphony.
Electric, she has risen. A tingling races down her backbone. She envisions the feathers that flow from her spine. Wings. Arms lift in unison.

Truth and love are resilient. She casts one last look back before soaring on.