A Little Something About Doors

Once, when I was four, my mother went to church down the street, leaving my sister (who was three) and me with our father, who remained in bed, asleep.  At which point, I decided that my sister and I should go to church, too.  We’d been to church before, but never by ourselves.  We’d never stood alone on the church steps in front of the double doors that now loomed over us like a wooden angel with a giant pair of wings.   Would we be able to open the door on our own?  Should we knock?  Somehow we managed.  I don’t remember how, but I do recall holding my sister’s hand as we clomped down the aisle in our floppy boots, feeling mighty pleased at having gotten through the door by ourselves.

My son graduated from college this past weekend.  It made me think about door as metaphor.  One door closes, another opens.  At this same college a few years ago, some students  erected a kind of pink uterine tent where the door was a vagina.  I didn’t get a picture of that.  It would have been interesting, to say the least.

I am fascinated by doors.  The look of them, the idea of them.  The ins and outs of them, the open and closed.  The splendid endless variety of them.  Sometimes they are scary.  Sometimes, daunting and formidable.

And sometimes they take my breath away.

Lapping the Miles

My husband and I drove some 450 miles over Mother’s Day weekend.  We spent time with family, laughed a lot, and enjoyed listening to live music.  I drank just enough wine to induce me to sing.  The weather was sublime.  As we were homeward bound, the late afternoon sun and unending highway made me think of this:

I like to see it lap the Miles/ And lick the Valleys up

Emily Dickinson was writing about a train, but hunched low in my seat, staring over the dashboard at the road ahead, it looked exactly as though our car was lapping up the miles.  So I pointed my camera and snapped some pictures.

I wonder if Miss Dickinson would agree.

Fear of Flying


A friend of mine asked me for advice.  She’s flying across the country soon and she’s afraid of flying.  Since I was a “seasoned flyer,” did I have any tips that might help?

Though I’m loath to admit it, flying scares the crap out of me.  I’m 30,000 feet in the air inside a huge hunk of metal that remains airborne only by the marvel of mechanical engineering and a proper maintenance schedule.  But I do like to travel and the fastest way to traverse large distances is to get on a plane and hope that the engine, the electrical systems, the landing gear, and the rivets holding everything together have all been thoroughly checked and maintained.  Preferably just before I boarded.  Yes, it scares me, but I’ve gotten used to it.  And I’ve devised a habit to ease my fear.   I meditate upon take-off and landing (statistically the most likely time for a problem).  Without fail, every single time.  It makes me feel better to do this.  It makes me feel a little more in control.  An illusion perhaps, but isn’t life?

Ultimately, my advice to her was do it and keep doing it, because you can.

Which brings me to the point of this post.   As I conveyed my seasonedwisdom to my friend, it occurred to me that maybe I should apply similar advice to other aspects of my life.  Like blogging.  That really scares the crap out of me, too.  The whole time I’m writing a post, I’m thinking; someone might actually read this blog, and worse, they might think my writing completely sucks.*  Which is why my first blogging attempts consisted of seven posts over the course of nine months.

We are all afraid of something.  And mostly, it’s the doing it anyway that sees us through.  Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do the thing you think you cannot do.”  She also said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Sometimes that may be just getting out of bed.

So read away citizens of the internet.  Or not.  The blogosphere is a mighty big place.  However, if you should stumble upon this page – hellooo – I’m here, still afraid of sucking, but writing anyway.

Because I can.

*I’m also terrified of crossing bridges.  Interesting that the common denominator seems to be falling, whether out of the sky, over water, or on my face.