Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Opening Doors

“When one door closes another door opens,
 but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us.”— Alexander Graham Bell

            How true, how true!  I know when my late husband died at the age of 54, I felt like a door had slammed shut right in my face.  I had spent most of my adult life being a supportive wife. His death left me adrift, off balance, and numbed.  I felt as if I was walking underwater.  The weight and resistance was palpable. 

           Finally, I started attending Hospice grief therapy group sessions, and at about the same time I signed up for a memoir-writing course.  The grief therapy group allowed me to meet with others who had suffered a similar loss, which helped each of us to feel less alone.  Meanwhile, in the writing class we were encouraged to keep journals.  Mine was a grief journal, chronicling my journey through what felt like a kind surrealist landscape. I began expressing my feelings through poetry. 

            Then, when I shared some of my grief journal poems with my Hospice group, I was met with a chorus of “Yes, yes – that’s it exactly!”  It was as though my poetry had given voice to their feelings as well. 

            So, I was launched through a new door, headlong down a new path – new places, new challenges, new horizons.  From that point forward, poetry and writing have been central to my days. 

            Here’s an example – a little poem I wrote about doors, inspired by the photograph below, taken by Hank Kellner as we strolled a downtown street one bright summer afternoon.


The Blue Door

Right there
In the middle of the city
High above the alleyway
A blue door

A balcony haven
Bedecked in flowers
Beckoning the sun
A promise of warmth

Behind that blue doorway
A cool and calm retreat
What secret pleasures
Linger there,
Above the street

A multi-paned,
Azure stained
Unexpected door

  What unexpected doors have opened for you after another one had shut?  

See this and other photo/poem combinations in my new book Reflect and Write, co-authored by Hank Kellner, and published by Prufrock Press www.prufrock/reflect-and-write-p1752.aspx 

Also, visit my co-author's blog at



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