Open Sesame

I love to travel, and when I do, I enjoy photographing the variety of doors I happen upon. A door is like a book—you don’t know what lies within until you open it. Something pleasant? Something scary? An adventure? Something that lulls you to sleep?

Left—Nova Scotia. Upper right—the Highlands of Scotland. Bottom right—Quebec.

Remember the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves? All Baba used the magical phrase — Open Sesame — to open the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves had hidden a treasure.

Santorini, Greece

And while there have been times I’ve not felt welcome, I’ve never had a door not open to me—regardless of my age, gender, skin color, politics, or spiritual tradition. I’m aware that’s sadly not the case for everyone. 

Have you ever had a door not open to you, or shut in your face? Click To Tweet

Have you ever had a door not open to you, or shut in your face?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

44 thoughts on “Open Sesame

  1. Why yes, Laurie. Doors have opened and closed for me all my life. I have learned to trust the wisdom of doors. When I have resisted their message, I have suffered. When I have looked around to see what else is open to me, I have flourished.

      • Sure picked up something looks and feels a lot like wisdom by it all. Why, these days, a door just starts to close and I can see its trajectory right then. Sometimes I can stick my foot out in time to keep it open. Other times I can jump clear. Every time, I can point it out to others and warn them that it’s there.

  2. My all time favorite “door” photo of you is the one in front of the blue door. I think it’s a metaphor for your life – open to the next big thing.

    I remember seeing a hand “handle” on a door at Villa Rosa in Positano, Italy. I took that as a welcome. Since then, I look for all manner of open doors.

  3. Doors and gates are often referred to as thresholds; practical and often as spiritual. In the year 2000 the magazine Parabola (myth, tradition, and the search for meaning) the theme of the entire magazine was “threshold.” In the process of crossing over the door “threshold” we are in a transition, albeit in normal time only moments. Yes then, through life doors were often closed to me. In the United States in the 1960’s and 70’s, women were not allowed passed the doors of many “all men” clubs, organizations of various types civic and business, professions and roles. Once on a trip to Salt Lake City, we visited the Mormon Tabernacle temple. On the same block were other buildings, We thought one of the buildings was a museum of some kind so we walked in. Everyone in the building was dressed in white, very quickly we were approached and ushered out. I think it was the first time a physical door was closed in my face. We cross thresholds throughout our life; transition moments, moments of decision, moments of choice. Thanks for opening the door to this conversation.

    • I would further comment when it comes to equity or equality or fairness, I have never let a closed door be seen as a permanent barrier. I have throughout my life worked to open many “doors.”

  4. I love your doors. As to having one not open for me? Probably, I don’t recall, because if one didn’t open, then another did and I think things usually happen for the best. If sometimes getting to the best is a very circuitous route.

  5. Thank you for sharing your intriguing photos and asking this question, Laurie. I’ve tried to visit friends and, not finding them home, been unable to open the door. And I’ve been in the uncomfortable position in which I was unable to open a door to allow someone to enter. But I really like what watchingthedaises wrote…

  6. Do romantic doors shutting count here? There were many romances but others never seemed like the right time or place or space–until the one I’ve been married to now for 43+ years. It seemed like a great open door! Glad I entered!

  7. What an intriguing question Laurie! I’ve had both real and metaphoric doors not open to me from a men’s club house to career opportunities. It never feels good to be “shut” out but I’ve seem to stumble on others doors, ones I may never have noticed if the one I wanted remained open? Great post.

  8. Fascinating doors! I like the analogy of comparing the cover of a book to a door, you have no Idea what’s on the other side until you open it. Like all children, I was infuriated by doors that were closed against me, learning the meaning of privacy came hard to me. The cliche` “Curiosity killed the cat” was directed towards me on a regular basis. I have even put my eye to the keyhole on occasion, regardless of parental threats and restrictions. Doors, gates, windows, they all have the promise of a discovery – just on the other side. However, I make sure I am permitted to cross the threshold. Opening the wrong door can leave you in a world of trouble!

  9. Oh my gosh, I don’t know which of those doors I like more. They are all amazing.
    We writers get doors closed to us all the time. “No, we don’t want your story here.” Never a fun feeling.
    Your piece also brought to mind a quote from Brené Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness: “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong.” We can look at a door as a sign that we don’t belong, or we can wonder what lies behind it and see it as something that will open for us and protect us from the wind when we’re inside.

    • Arlene — I so admire Brené Brown. Her quote that you shared is new for me. I haven’t read “Braving the Wilderness” yet, but I’ve just moved it up my must-read list based on your comment. Thank you!

  10. I stayed too long at the door of the church – it never opened to me. The door of getting paid for my work – well at 50 I just stopped trying and worked for free or as a volunteer. Not being paid, hundreds of doors opened for me….my skills were used an appreciated. I just do not have enough money to retire now….closed, open….injustice, opportunity….just is
    I like your pictures…wonderful collection

    • Patricia — That’s a sad commentary on the employment situation in some places. It’s nice that your skills were used and appreciated, but it sounds like they were also being taken advantage of.

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