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There Was a Door to Which I Found No Key

October 2, 2013

9280e36c0dbeec29e0b11e35b2cfa728 “There was a Door to which I found no key:
 There was a veil past which I could not see:
 Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
 There seem’d – and then no more of Thee and Me”

One of my favourite poems – albeit a poem about death.

From an early age, when listening to my grandfather recite the poetry of Omar Khayyam, whilst  sitting around the fire on a
winter’s evening, doorways have held a symbolic meaning in my life.

It was in the doorway to our temporary home that my father fought to snatch me away when I was  just 10 years old, where we would call in the men from the fields to add their strength to the marital  battle raging on the doorstep to my grandparents’ ancient home. All the while, I stood transfixed from fear and anxiety, alone in the room, listening to  the arguments raging just  outside the door.

But those memories are transposed by the warmth of fireside tales, by the love of grandparents who provided shelter from the storms. Ghost stories whispered as shadows flickered across the walls, poetry recited in the light of the flames.  And then the more earthly sustenance of bread on a toasting fork held over the grate, then smothered in thick melting butter.

Often on these nights we would make our way upstairs by candlelight and then lie in bed watching the flames make dancing shadows on the wall, trying to convince ourselves that there were no such things as ghosts. I remember the smell – not the smell of damp from an unheated house, but the smell of centuries. Five Centuries of lives, five centuries for the walls to absorb the stories of those who had lived there before. The peeling wallpaper symbolic of the layers of life, the ancient dust motes mingling with the new.

And many years later I again am reminded of doorways, but this time through a more modern means – Pinterest.

Just as the old farmhouse has now been redeveloped, so the world has moved on into a digital age. Yet the stories are still there, perhaps no longer told by firelight, but more as a fleeting glimpse behind a picture.

On my favourite Pinterest board, each doorway or window tells a story. Some speak of far away lands, some hint at vistas we can only dream of, some tell of Arthurian tales, secret trysts or dark religion.

Each image resonates, providing a fleeting glimpse of a long-forgotten tale, or hints at half-told story, leaving us to weave our own magic.

Author: Sara Greenfield

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From → Personal, Pinterest

3 Comments
  1. Wow Sara, I hadn’t seen this side of you. There’s a lot more there to tell – this feels like the short version of an article, maybe even a blog itself just on the doors in your life! There’s an unexplored niche… fancy managing another site?

    Seriously, thanks for sharing. Just a glimpse into these places shows a whole new world and past and set of stories. It’s good getting to know you.

  2. This is lovely ..I wasn’t expecting something so descriptive, it’s a lovely post and It’s left me wanting to know more!

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