In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Open the Door

Last week at the magical A Room of Her Own Writers Retreat at Ghost Ranch, I participated in a guided imagery exercise led by Bhanu Kapil.  Much to my surprise, I found that I am highly susceptible to such exercises.  Being a pragmatic realist, I never would have thought I could be able to envision what waits for me in my subconscious.  In this particular exercise, Bhanu asked her audience to close their eyes and imagine a door - a door that would lead each of us to a place we wanted to be.  Not only was I able to visualize that place, but I was also able to use the ideas I gathered while I was there by writing about it later on.

The next day, as I began a hike up to Chimney Rock, I found a gate at the trail head.  I'm sure it is meant to keep animals such as dogs or horses off the trail, but I was struck by how the ritual of opening that gate - another door - prepared me to enter the rocky beauty of that trail.  And of course I was reminded of the work I had done with Bhanu.

I know that what I was looking for behind the  door I pictured is a clearer idea of how to keep writing even in the face of a very  demanding school year.  I want to stay on my writing path, just as I stayed true to the trail up to Chimney Rock.  I opened that door at the AROHO retreat, and so far have been walking my writing path during this first week back at teaching.  And I'm determined to keep going.

We all have closed doors in our lives.  Some are those we have shut ourselves, some we have been afraid or unwilling to open.  They take many different forms, and opening a door means something different for everyone.

What is your door? What would you find on the other side if you opened it?  I'd love to hear from you.  Share in the comments below.


  1. Beautiful post, Lisa. I am looking forward to finding what is next for me beyond that next door. :)

    1. Marcia, thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you do find out what is beyond the next door. I envision something luminous.

  2. Great question! I am working to cross the threshold - to find my way to fearlessness.

  3. Keep on going! You'll find the right way for you. Lisa

  4. On the other side of the door there's a lot of light and love and laughter. That sounds sentimental, I know, but that's what I'm opening to. Thanks for the post, Lisa! And thanks for you!

  5. Mary - I don't think it sounds sentimental! It sounds wonderful - keep that door open! Thank you for reading.