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…