Monday, June 13, 2011

Locked Doors

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.
-William Blake

And when that door locks you out, there is little choice but to journey into the unknown. 

I've found that doors and locks trouble me here in Germany. After walking from a door about to shut, I thought, I've got a key, even if it does lock. Alas, one must know how to use the key to make any progress. After fetching the bike I would soon be riding, I came back to the door to get my camera, book, phone, money and water and be on my way. The door was indeed locked, and confidently I put the key into the slot, and turned it about seven times, and pushed.

Didn't move one bit.

So I tried again, turning the key the other way.

Nothing again.

Then began a few minutes of turning and pushing and shoving and pulling. 

Still nothing.

But, I had a bike. So I went alone, with the bike, halfway to my destination (a small town near where I am staying, to visit the bakery or library or stores). About a quarter of the way there, a road looked interesting, which I turned down. Trees lined both sides, and fields of grass beyond the trees. I kept riding, until the trees completely covered the road with a roof of leaves. And, between certain trees, I saw flickers of light, which turned out to be a lake. So I kept riding, and came across a small dock, overlooking the entire lake. (See picture above.)

When I got thirsty and hot, I rode back home. And the door was still locked. I was hoping perhaps time away from the door would make our relationship better, but it didn't. The neighbor then drove up, and as a German, he certainly should know how to work the lock. In fragmented German, I told him I had a problem with the door and I needed his help. He made it seem as though he was pulling a tissue from the box, and had the door open in no time. I thanked him profusely, and then set about to teach myself how to open the door, now that I knew it could be done. 

I opened the back door, hoping the wind wouldn't shut it and ruin my plan, and shut the front door. When that wouldn't open, I took a lap around the house. After nine or ten laps, I was annoyed and hot, so I left the house again, hoping that when I came back someone else would be home to open the door for me. 

I went to Meckelfeld, the small town I was planning on going to two hours earlier, and spent the rest of the time there. On my way back, I stopped at the lake, to take a picture of what I saw earlier while I was sitting and pondering, Henry David Thoreau style. 

On this particular day, I was grateful for the doors that stand between the known and unknown, which sometimes shove me out of my comfort zone. 

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