"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)
I was taking a walk today and the first part of this quote popped into my head. Once I returned home, I decided to look up the origin of the words. I was surprised to learn they were first uttered by Alexander Graham Bell who earned a U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. I also read that when he died in 1922, every phone on the continent of North America was silenced in honor of the man who had given to mankind the means for direct communication at a distance. Interestingly, while he was still alive, Bell considered his most famous invention to be an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. The reason for his quote is unclear, but while reading his biography it was obvious he suffered much loss in his life - two brothers to tuberculosis, the death of two infant sons, plus he witnessed his mother slowly lose her hearing when he was a child.
But I digress...The real reason I was thinking about the quote was that I was thinking in darker terms about the possibility that no door opens when one closes. I know that seems rather pessimistic, but the reality is that open doors aren't always available. So, what does a person do in such a situation? That led me to thinking about Alice in Wonderland and the image of her going through the looking glass to an alternate world on the other side. Secret openings to other worlds or other spaces have always been intriguing as plot devices in literature. I like the idea of stepping through a mirror, finding a secret passageway behind a bookcase or possibly opening a trap door and falling into a magical kingdom (the falling part seems a little scary, though). If none of these are available, a piece of chalk might suffice. Just draw an opening on the floor or wall and envision what opportunities might lay on the other side. Rather than an actual door, it's more of a conceptual freeing of the mind to head in another direction. So, the next time a door closes just get out your chalk, find an open surface and create the opening you need.
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Very thought provoking. Quakers say "as the way opens". I've never hear discussion of how no way at all might open, but perhaps it only opens sometimes because we make it.ReplyDelete
A saying I have found helpful about grief is that it "changes us forever. It is up to us if that change is for the better." I think many things change us forever, but it is indeed always up to us if we make it for the better. Sometimes that is a very, very tall order, but it helps to know where the control is. Thank you for the thoughts.
In life doors are always opening and closing. And when one closes, the other door opening, does not often happen simultaneously (I guess that is where a little faith and patience comes in). Looking back I would have to say that there were many times I felt at a dead end but somehow found my way.ReplyDelete
Ruth, I am often inspired by the way you traverse your life. You seem to have a big picture view that has served you well. The closed doors you faced did not stop you from continuing to search for a positive life for you and the kids, or keep you from being an exceptional parent.ReplyDelete
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I really like this idea... it's freeing to know that we can create that door with our imagination, if nothing else. A happy thought.ReplyDelete
I agree, Brynn. There are times when it seems that doors are being controlled by others. It's much more freeing to think of the control being in our own hands, where we create our own opportunities. Our imagination can take us far if we trust it.ReplyDelete