Open Up the Doors

Lindasusan Ulrich

Open up the doors
Push on looming wooden arches embroidered with ironwork
Brace shoulders against the weight of history unmoved
Slough off the musty smell of unused joy and stored up sorrow
Knock rust off the hinges if you have to
And let your breath precede you inside

Open the doors more
Make room for a shaft of sunlight to cross the threshold
Give the dust motes something to dance about
Peek through a single slice of possibility
And name even the half-hidden truths you see

Open the doors wider still
Pour yourself through the gap
Strut or sneak or sidle, as suits you best
Cleanse whatever scrapes catch your skin
And bind up the wounds that keep you from entering whole

Open the doors as far as they will go
Draw on the strength of the stones beneath you
Ground yourself in a firm sense of who you are
Stand as a beacon welcoming the next seeker
And shine far beyond the lintel and sill

Open all that you are
Heighten and deepen your connections to the world around you
Broaden your definition of neighbor
Grow into the largest target for grace that you can muster
And pray to become a gateway for even greater love and compassion

Open up the doors, my friends,
Lest we keep the stranger out
And condemn ourselves to prisons of our own making

Against a stark gold wall, with ornate floor tiles, a curving doorway leads into the next room.