Thursday, 19 March 2009

for doors

For doors
are both frame and monument
to our spent time,
and too little
has been said
of our coming through and leaving by them.

Charles Tomlinson
(The Door)


  1. The Fact of a Doorframe

    means there is something to hold
    onto with both hands
    while slowly thrusting my forehead against the wood
    and taking it away
    one of the oldest motions of suffering
    as Makeba sings
    a courage-song for warriors
    music is suffering made powerful

    I think of the story
    of the goose-girl who passed through the high gate
    where the head of her favorite mare
    was nailed to the arch
    and in a human voice
    If she could see thee now, they mother's heart would break
    said the head
    of Falada

    Now, again, poetry,
    violent, arcane, common,
    hewn of the commonest living substance
    into archway, portal, frame
    I grasp for you, your bloodstained splinters, your
    ancient and stubborn poise
    —as the earth trembles—
    burning out from the grain

    by Adrienne Rich

  2. Foarte frumoasa!

  3. Taoistic.. which I admire.. Freud might leave a quite different poem though.. :p

  4. Encore une surprise! Un joli coup d'oeil sur cette porte comme je suis pas très curaient je te demande pas si tu habite ici l' instantané !! ce moment divin qui fait naître la photo avec le détail né pendant le déclic.. Non je ne veux pas de tuer j'aime trop la vie...@2

  5. I was thinking of you when I posted this, M.

    I grasp for you, your bloodstained splinters, your
    ancient and stubborn poise
    —as the earth trembles—
    burning out from the grain

    I love this.

  6. Anonymous, multumesc pentru vizita si apreciere.

  7. multumesc, Edith. ai fost iarasi la munte, sau ocupata? :-)

  8. Siam :-), oui, trop de curiosite peut parfois tuer la vie, mais elle est aussi la condition premiere pour pouvoir s'ouvrir vers l'autre, non? peut-etre on vit l'emerveillement tout d'abord, et puis la curiosite par rapport a cet emerveillement vient toute de suite apres...

  9. Doors. What do they mean for you. I think of pictures of doors as promises of unexpected visitors, lost friends and lovers from once but long ago. Some think of it in more philosophical terms "There are things known, and things, unkown, and in between are the Doors"; by William Blake popularized by one Jim Morrisson. Some think of doors closing on them; and others see doors opening.

    Your picture reminds me of a famous song by Tagore about a person who is standing outside the door of his foreign lover (I picture a bengali man and a european, probably English (given the context of the times, but then there were other foreigners here too, in those times, as you would know, being a reader of Eliade). He says (poor translation I'm afraid)

    "Now having travelled the entire world
    I am in new land
    I'm a guest before your own door
    My foreign lady"

  10. I just got time to read this. I'm laughing with the comments as I had never looked at my old door collection (more than 15) that I use leaning against walls as "art" often collecting, keeping, taking with me doors in my travels, what in Jungian terms that means. I know I have spent a lifetime beating down "doors" of bias and narrow mindedness. And I've had a lot of doors closed to me because of my choice to be an artist or because of my art. Now because of "seeing" from this prose, the door frame as monument...I'm going to chose to believe that in my life I was unconsciosly trying to take away the block that allows us to walk through freely. From A DICTIONARY OF SYMBOLS by J. E. Cirlot..."Door:
    A feminine symbol which notwithstanding, contains all the implications of the symbolic hole, since it is the door which gives access to the hole; its significance is therefore the antithesis of the wall. There is the same relationship between the temple-door and the altar as between the circumference and the centre: even though in each case the two component elements are the farthest apart, they are nonetheless, in a way, the closest since the one determines the other." Nancy - Museum & Arts

  11. you thought of me, and that day I was thinking of doorways (with which I have a mild obsession) and going through my photos - and then I saw your post - how's that for comings and goings...

  12. oh, m, isn't this wonderful, when such things happen... so many seem to have an obsession for doorways, one of James's poetry books is entitled 'An Hour is the Doorway'. in this case too, time and space are intertwined. or as Bachelard puts it: when we step over a threshold, the person that we were before and the person that we are after are different.

  13. "promises of unexpected visitors, lost friends and lovers from once but long ago" - returning as ghosts, zuma? I don't want to get sad tonight, so I will think only of those 'promises of unexpected visitors' who can also bring something like good news, or joy. can't they?

    I was so in love with The Doors when I was young. I still love them. 'The End' is for me one of the most beautiful songs ever. This is the end
    Beautiful friend
    This is the end
    My only friend, the end

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    Ill never look into your eyes...again

    speaking of lost friends or lovers...

    but nonono! the Tagore lines are so beautiful. in fact, that has inspired me for more Tagore tonight, for all my Indian readers :-)

  14. oh Nancy - the first time I read the comment I thought you were speaking of a collection of door pictures, not of doors! this is so fascinating - I have never heard of someone collecting doors. wouldn't you post pictures of them?
    I guess that the reactions to this post have shown what a powerful archetype (because you spoke of Jung) the door is, an image haunting so many of us. door, threshold, veil are all metaphors of the in-between, aren't they? of transcending into the unknown, a foreign realm in which we meet the other (or ourselves disguised as other). both fascinating and dangerous. Novalis says:
    'Someone arrived there — who lifted the veil of the goddess, at Sais. — But what did he see? He saw — wonder of wonders — himself.'

  15. not as ghosts, roxana. why would you assume that? real live ones that come back. probably among the happiest events of human condition, sadness is not even an option. and not because of the tidings they bring, roxana - that can await the conclusion of refreshments and nostalgia, and ceremonial showings of hospitality...because all that matters is thatthey are alive (not ghosts, and they came back) but these days the world is small, and no one is further away than our desk; so maybe people are not missed that much...

    'The End' you say? how could it not be so - you whose works so often contain that same magnificient melancholy? (though I know you will tell me you are different in person...)

  16. also (carrying on from your reply to Nancy), doors also stand for obstacles (or paradoxically opportunities). Omar Khayyam writes:

    "There was the Door to which I found no Key;
    There was the Veil through which I might not see:
    Some little talk awhile of ME and THEE
    There was-and then no more of THEE and ME"

  17. Zuma, I am sorry for the delay in answering your subtle comments which take the door discussion further and further.

    Zuma, I get your point, but - and not because I want to dwell any longer on the melancholy threshold, be it 'magnificent melancholy" as you put it :-) - but but but: maybe you are right, and they truly come back, and not as ghosts - yet are they the same then? more than often, we look at them as we look at a stranger, and wonder about having been closed to them once.

  18. too little indeed has been said about doors - & too rarely has a grey door been combined with a red rose

  19. I'm glad you liked it, dearest fff :-)