Friday, September 30, 2011

Closings (of Real Estate and of Doors)... and Openings!

Last Friday when I closed the door to our Louisiana home for the last time, I lingered for a moment with my hand on the doorknob.  

I put some thought into actually closing that door.  I did it slowly and with great deliberation.  I said a little prayer for the house and thanked the walls for sheltering me for 26 years.  Okay it sounds a little wacky, but I actually stroked the doorframe.  

After a minute or two, I realized that although I was closing the door, I could mentally look back through it at any time.  It was a partial glass door in more ways than one.  Although I wouldn't be stepping back into my old house, I could remember my life there as if looking through the glass top of the door and that would be sufficient.

The tears did come a little later when I drove away, but at that moment of closing the door, I really was at peace.  

Now my mind is on the figurative doors that I'll be opening over the next months as I make a new life in Virginia.

I hope you won't zone out and skip over the following poem, thinking that you don't "get" or like poetry.... give this poem by David Wagoner a try.

It'ss about how an actor might approach the direction to "open a door."

There are a lot of ways to go about it...... How are you opening the doors in your life?  

At The Door

All actors look for them-the defining moments
When what a character does is what he is.
The script may say, He goes to the door
And exits or She goes out the door stage left.

But you see your fingers touching the doorknob,
Closing around it, turning it
As if by themselves. The latch slides
Out of the strike-plate, the door swings on its hinges,
And you're about to take that step
Over the threshold into a different light.

For the audience, you may simply be
Disappearing from the scene, yet in those few seconds
You can reach for the knob as the last object on earth
You wanted to touch. Or you can take it
Warmly like the hand your father offered
Once in forgiveness and afterward
Kept to himself.

Or you can stand there briefly, as bewildered
As by the door of a walk-in time-lock safe,
Stand there and stare
At the whole concept of shutness, like a rat
Whose maze has been rebaffled overnight,
Stand still and quiver, unable to turn
Around or go left or right.

Or you can grasp it with a sly, soundless discretion,
Open it inch by inch, testing each fraction
Of torque on the spindles, on tiptoe
Slip yourself through the upright slot
And press the lock-stile silently
Back into its frame.

Or you can use your shoulder
Or the hard heel of your shoe
And a leg-thrust to break it open.

Or you can approach the door as if accustomed
To having all barriers open by themselves.
You can wrench aside
This unauthorized interruption of your progress
And then leave it ajar
For others to do with as they may see fit.

Or you can stand at ease
And give the impression you can see through
This door or any door and have no need
To take your physical self to the other side.

Or you can turn the knob as if at last
Nothing could please you more, your body language
Filled with expectations of joy at where you're going,
Holding yourself momentarily in the posture
Of an awestruck pilgrim at the gate-though you know
You'll only be stepping out against the scrim
Or a wobbly flat daubed with a landscape,
A scribble of leaves, a hint of flowers,
The bare suggestion of a garden.

David Wagoner

(taken from the website

Our real estate closing on the house went as expected two days ago.  It's official: we're full-time Virginians!

I've got a veritable maze of doors ahead of me.... I'm hoping to be the "awestruck pilgrim" at most of them!


  1. congratulations to you on your new life!!!

  2. So glad you finally have this all behind you and are no longer carrying the weight on your shoulders of having your husband in one state and you in another. I've been down that road 3 times and it's just not fun. Welcome once again, to Virginia. We are happy to have you!

  3. I love the poem, and the metaphor. My doors are in a state of flux, and it's rather annoying sometimes. At least the floor is still stable! LOL. Congratulations on the sale of the house - in these days it's not a sure thing until it is actually over. I hope you settle into your new life without too much trouble.

  4. Hey Grace and Joe, welcome to Virgina on a full time basis. I am so proud of you both, you have struggled emotionally. But you both stood strong and I am very proud of you. I am looking forward so much to your new home. I love you both. Now relax.

  5. Welcome finally to Virginia ~ from your N.C. neighbor. Loved the poem. You can move forward now and relax, get rested a little as you enjoy getting this new home ready. Deb


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