Door to Nowhere by francoise

Door to Nowhere

This door leads into a swamp, a patch of ill-draining land where I grow peppermint and mosquitoes. We don’t use the door at all. An unknowing person used it earlier this year and ended up ankle deep in mud. But the door does let in light and air. I’m not completely clear on why the builders chose to leave both ends of the house windowless and I’d very much like to remedy that lack. For a few years now, I’ve been saying, “When we get our tax refund this year, I’m having a window put in on this wall.” “Ok,” says my husband. But so far I have not had a window put in.

It would seem that there are always more ideas in my mind than there are things I actually do. I know that some ideas just need a while to incubate. Some ideas might be better off just let go. Some ideas just have to wait on the back burner until the correct alignment of stars and planets occurs.

Joe just built some benches up at our pond in the woods. I had asked him to do that almost five years ago! The long-held idea hatched out over the course of a single weekend. Now, I wasn’t bothered about the lack of benches. I had dragged some chairs up by the pond and they did just fine for sitting purposes. I was reasonably sure that he would build benches when he was ready to build them. And if he never was ever ready, well, I didn’t mind. Had I minded, I would have figured out some way to bring them into being. Once, about a week before Joe was to leave for two weeks in Tennessee on a job, I wanted the air conditioner out of the living room window. It was November. The air conditioner’s season had come and gone. Now it just sat there blocking the view and blocking the light. Joe said he might get it out when he came back from Tennessee. That just wouldn’t do. I found a handyman ad in the newspaper and told Joe I was going to call the handyman to come and move the air conditioner. He got mad and informed me that calling handymen for tasks we could do ourselves was something I shouldn’t do. I got mad too. “I can’t move the air conditioner,” I retorted. Nothing more was said on the subject, but the very next evening, Joe and Joey moved the air conditioner to its winter home on the basement shelf.

I cared about that light and I cared about that view. But the benches? I didn’t care one way or the other. By this summer, I had more or less dismissed them as a possibility. Earlier this summer my friend G, who seems to think I am married to a better-than-life husband (well, I might think that as well), was talking about the failings of her own husband from whom she has now been separated for more than ten years. She retold the oft-told story of the slate she had dragged home. Her husband had said he would use it to make a patio in the back yard. The patio never happened, although I don’t remember now how many years that slate sat at G’s house, becoming ever more monumental a symbol of inadequate husbanding. I don’t think it more than two or so. Eventually her friend T. said, “give me that slate as that patio will never happen and it’s eating at you.” She took it off G’s hands, but its absence did not diminish the symbolic value, maybe even added validation for G’s distress. It certainly added an ending to the ongoing story, which we all continue to hear. When the never-constructed slate patio story came up the other day, I told G that Joe had said he would make benches five years prior and there were no benches. Somehow this did not dim Joe in her eyes and this certainly did not lead to any letting go of the slate patio. I think I was hoping that my analogy might help put the slate into a different perspective.

I don’t actually know what to do with that story and have trouble responding to it. I wonder if the reason I have trouble with the story is that it never evolves. It’s always the exact same story with the exact same bitter/disappointed emotion attached to it. I know I repeat my own stories. Everyone is entitled to repeat their own stories as often as they wish! Repeating stories is part of life, one of the great acts necessary to create a life. I love stories. I love repeating them. I love hearing them repeated. The slate story sticks in my craw for some reason, perhaps because of all my own unmaterialized ideas.

The benches are amazing. They will not be going anywhere or falling apart anytime in the next fifty years. There are beautiful little tables too. I don’t know why Joe picked a particular weekend to dig holes, pour concrete, build benches and design tables. It was an idea whose time had arrived. It must be said that my initial idea had nothing near the beauty and solidity of what eventually got built. My idea of the benches wasn’t all that clear, but it was more along the lines of a couple boards nailed together.

I'll just have to trust that when the time is right, I'll put in a window. Maybe I should drain that swamp? That's the trouble with ideas. One leads to another.
This is a great shot of your door to nowhere - but it is the door in the mirror that really caught my eye!
Both are beautiful, and they complement each other.
Lovely story and beautiful photo.
July 31st, 2018  
i enjoy the musings
July 31st, 2018  
Lovely composed photo, all those rectangles and a square.
July 31st, 2018  
July 31st, 2018  
I love all the reflections in this the door and the mirror behind it! Haven't time to read today but hate to miss it for now. Coming back and perhaps another comment when I do because I love what you write
July 31st, 2018  
Such an interesting story. Makes me look at the photo and it's reflections with new eyes!
July 31st, 2018  
A window into your life, much enjoyed.
July 31st, 2018  
You drain the swamp, and you'll never know what you'll find on the bottom.
August 1st, 2018  
How interesting to read your meandering thoughts that still all seem to have a connectivity. I would love to be able to write like you do
August 2nd, 2018  
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