“A child of seven is excited by being told

 that Tommy opened the door and saw a dragon.

 But a child of three is excited by being told

that Tommy opened a door…”

                                                                                                             G. K. Chesterton

I remember the door that let me into my first private bedroom in the cinder-block, Missouri home I grew up in. I  remember passing through that door, ecstatic to not live in my brother’s room anymore. “Yes!” I now had my own double bed, my own closest, my own window, my own personal space away from my family and from the world.

I loved that bedroom, as I  now love all bedrooms of the world.

I love the bedroom I now live in with my wife.  I love our double, bedroom doors.  I love going through them in the evening, to put on comfortable clothes, to sit in my comfortable chair and look out the window and watch the sun set over the ocean. I love to lay on my king-sized bed, the beautiful, dark wooden bed that my parents gave me, in the evening, and write on my laptop, and savor the moments of leisure and memory and quiet.

And I am not alone in this. Many of us  love our bedroom privacy; we profoundly crave our bedroom sanctuaries, spaces to rest in,  places of safety,  walls around us so we can  close our eyes without fear and recover from the world. And those who don’t have a room, the homeless, the transient, the lost, they also needand love a private space, if nothing else a cardboard box, a place behind the dumpster, a moments quiet in a grimy corner of the earth.

I remember so well the door that opened to my first-grade classroom. I passed through that door in R-10 school in rural Missouri into an astonishing space filled with learning, a veritable universe of books and papers and drop-dead gorgeous ideas.

I loved that little classroom, as I love all the classrooms of the world.  I love the door that opened to the first college classroom I ever taught in, because it was there that I finally sat on a table and held  court and dispensed truth and schooled my students. Many of us love the spaces where we first learned to read. And some of us love the place where we first  taught  others to read and to write and to think.

Tonight I  sit in my bedroom and look out, through the double doors, through the window over the stairs and through the trees in the yard to the mountains and the fading light in the sky. There is something about my bedroom doors, that open upon the world, something to thrill a child and more.

And now I’m thinking, doors.

There is another one. It’s inside me.

I love this inner door; it’s doubled, open now, then pulled nearly shut again, now cracked, now slammed, now pulled but not latched within. Today I encountered someone who hasn’t loved me much. The door closed. Tonight when I saw my wife, the door opened.

Tonight, lying in my room,  I am trying to recover from too many days that had too little time behind too few closed doors. I am lying on my bed; I am empty inside, and someone knocks.

Like a three-year-old, I turn and look out through the opening.

Someone is there.



I open, as much as I can.

I love opening this door, in this way, in just precisely and exactly this swinging out kind of way.

I look out, throught the opening,  into the spaces that go beyond my sense of what a room can hold.

I am not alone.

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