I’ve always loved old European doors and doorways. More than merely pretty, there is something sacred and magical about them. I think I love them also because they represent possibility. They are portals standing on the thresholds of unknown places, locked gifts to lives we may never know.
Doors also offer protection: we can open and close, unlock and lock those to which we hold the key. The magic of them is that we can knock on them but only the owner of the door can decide to keep it closed or open it and let us in. We don’t always know the secret knock or password to gain admittance but when we discover it we embark on new journeys! Sometimes, however, we find there are doors within doors (as you see in my video above). We may cross the first perimeter through this temporary portal but never penetrate the inner sanctum.
Doors also offer blank canvases on which we can project our dreams and imaginings. We can leave the doors closed and continue to imagine what we want, we can risk opening them and being disappointed or we can risk opening them and embarking on a heroic and fulfilling quest.
You may find it of interest that in the first act (Departure), of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or hero’s journey which begins with “The Call to Adventure,” “Crossing the First Threshold” is the fourth stage. In this stage the person [who would become hero or heroine] actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unknown.
Campbell: “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions — also up and down — standing for the limits of the hero’s present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe. The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.”