“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