The first time I led a group of students to Europe, I observed their photography habits. Several, of course, were interested in taking selfies at each iconic landmark; others enjoyed snapping candid pictures of friends; and others documented the historical significance of each excursion.
One particular student, however, focused her energy on the doors of London, and soon she had all of us looking for unique colors, ornamentation, locks, and knockers. In the end, these have become some of my favorite photos of the trip.
But my fascination with doors has only increased since I returned home. While our homogenized suburban houses do not necessarily lend themselves to vivid colors or uncommon shapes, the metaphor of the door has become quite significant to me.
An open door is warm, inviting, begging me to come in and discover the opportunities that await. Of course, what lies within is often hidden from view and requires a bit of bravery and sense of adventure, but the opportunity is there should I decide to be so bold.
A closed-door, on the other hand, is a bit colder. I can choose to knock and see if someone answers – or I can assume that I am not welcome and walk away. A closed-door requires a bit more curiosity and bravery on my part. I become vulnerable at the risk of being ignored – or worse – having the door slammed in my face. But the closed-door also represents opportunity. Not here… but if I keep walking and keep knocking, I will eventually find the place where I belong: acceptance of who I am and a nurturing atmosphere to become who I am supposed to be.
Here are a few of my personal photographs of doors … and some favorite corresponding quotes. I hope you enjoy.