My Instagram account is filled with doorways. Bright red doorways, with luscious, abundant flowers flowing over and around them. I never thought about my being drawn to them; but clearly I am. I loved the possibility of what is happening behind them, that I can’t know for sure, but suspect is someone else’s ‘fabulous.’
Last week a friend was in Senegal where he posted pictures from Maison des Esclaves. Not familiar? Translation? House of Slaves. It’s where they processed stolen humans before sending them across the Atlantic to serve as America’s labor for building what I have come to realize is a smokes and mirrors presentation of what freedom can build.
Some of his pictures turned out to be doorways. And, there is symmetry to them that mirrors my experience of doorways, which is very different from the experience of the people of Africa as they were dragged to this place on the coast, filled with doorways.
I see doorways without any fear or concern. Doorways to friend’s homes. Doorways on the way to somewhere else. Pretty doorways that promise a great life inside as I walk the streets of New York City, or perhaps my favorite doorways. The doorways of islands in the islands of Greece, where the vibrant colors with white adobe walls - the perfect backdrop - to magnify their simple beauty and hope for something inside.
But these doorways are something else all together. And even from the safety of my cottage in Maine, where I know no danger of where they might take me, I can sense the fear they instilled, especially because where those that were brought there came from, doorways like this weren’t in their vision. And, they should never have been.
I will now think of doorways differently. I will still admire them, the ones in my personal line of vision, but I will recognize that they are not without evil behind them. And, I will pay attention to what might be going on inside them. Perspective. It’s always worth looking beyond our own.