When Miska and I roamed London’s streets, I was fascinated by the doors. It’s the same when I walk Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood or Locust Street here in my own fair city. I watch the doors and wonder their story. Who has walked over that threshold and into warmth and life? Who has stood at the stoop, trembling as they knock, hoping against hope that the door would swing wide?
My sister gave me a print of the “Doors of Tallinn, Estonia,” a mosaic showcasing twenty-five doors you’d find if you were to travel Tallinn’s alleys and boulevards. The print sits above my desk, close to my Berry’s “Sabbath 2007, no 9” – the two say something quite similar, though you’d have to pay attention to know. Whenever I happen upon a beautiful or quirky door, I pull out my camera. I’m not unique in this, as doors have always captured the photographer’s eye. This week, these Duke Chapel doors caught my friend Juli Kalbaugh’s eye, and I’m so glad they did.
It’s made me wonder why doors capture us so. I’m sure there are many reasons, but I think this is one: we all want to be welcomed. We all want to be brought in from the cold, from the aloneness, into a warm space filled with friendship. We want to belong. We’d love to have a person fling their door open, burst into smile, throw their arms around us and say, Get yourself in here.
I wish I had more courage at some of these doors I love. Rather than take a photo, I’d like walk up and knock. If someone answers and asks what I need, I could simply say, “Just an invitation.”