Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Doors


As I have walked the streets of Spello and Assisi, I am intrigued by doors. Each one is a bit different from the next, even on the same street you can have doors that are beautifully carved, shiny and strong, and those that are worn with rusting hinges.  I'm intrigued by the way doors can mirror how we are feeling--shiny and happy, strong, weathered and tired, short and insignificant, open in anticipation of what's next, and worn down. I'm also intrigued by the doors we choose to open and the doors we close.  

Beautifully carved doors, with a shiny patina have me imagining Marcello Mastroianni behind these doors in a smoking jacket talking on his cell phone to his inamoratta.  Shiny doors give us the impression that whoever is behind that door will be shiny too, with the perfect family and the perfectly styled home.  
This door looks like it is strong, and will protect its inhabitants.  I heard a growling dog behind it when I snapped this photo, hence the small view.
This one has lost some of its patina; it's weathered like some of us, and appears strong--I like that metaphor for how we live.
This one still has some sheen left on it, but it looks like it's tired.  How many of us feel the same way!
Now if OSHA lived here, they would definitely take those pots down from the sill over the door!  This smaller door is weathered, and I'm not sure it would be able to keep out the weather.
Carved doors are beautiful to behold; I wonder who lives behind these doors--it's obvious that the design has meaning for them, and it stopped me in my tracks.  There was a car parked right up in front of this door for the past 3 days, so I had to take this at an odd angle.
We have a saying in our family when something is a bit too ornate that it's "Italian festival"---this one fits that for me, even though it is really well carved, and beautifully weathered. Its story intrigues me, and I suspect that the owner wanted a door that was a statement.  Sometimes our appearance can make a statement and I think it's the same with doors.  
Open doors give you a glimpse into the lives of the people who live within.  This is a gorgeous atrium that I pass on my way to school in the morning, and on my way home in the afternoon. I love the open feel, and I often feel that people with open doors, are anxious to invite you in.  Although......
if you look closely here, on the left is a cat sitting on the ledge; as I passed there were at least 10 cats in the courtyard all hissing at me----I got the message!

I call this one the Hobbit door, it's about 4 feet tall, and I'm not sure anyone lives behind this door, but it's intriguing to think about them, whether they are piccolino or alto.  Can't imagine our son Ryan ducking under this doorway every day.  Sometimes we can all feel short, or small or insignificant, and I felt that way about this door. 

Rustic weathered doors have my heart; these doors represent trials, weathering storms, and still standing strong.  Even though this door isn't the prettiest one on the block, it is to me, because its been through the storm and survived.

To me, weathered doors represent the journey through life; we start off shiny, and gradually we weather, yet we try to remain strong through the storms that life throws us.  The doors we choose to open is also a question that I think about; are we always drawn to the shiny things in life, or do we stop to investigate the more weathered, possibly more interesting, and enriching paths? 
As I have been here in Italy, I've had time to reflect on my life at home---I'm missing Dr. C. a lot, but I don't miss the din of 24 hour news, and the need to be constantly doing something.  Tonight it's raining, and cold outside, it's lovely and warm in my piccolino apartamento and I don't feel the need for anything else (except Dr. C).  I'm hoping I can take home some of what I'm living through here and incorporate it into my daily life.  I sure do love the simplicity.


  1. I've seen some of those doors. Each tells a story and I love your reflections. Mike

  2. Thanks Mike, sometimes it's hard to describe how all of our surroundings influence how we feel---I do love how simplicity creeps up on us and we are content--p.s. are you following the Pope on twitter? Simple and powerful.