An Obsession With Doors & Windows

Door – dôr, noun – A hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier at the entrance to a building, room, or vehicle, or in the framework of a cupboard.

Window – win·doh, noun – An opening in the wall or roof of a building or vehicle that is fitted with glass or other transparent material in a frame to admit light or air and allow people to see out.

So …………….

What is about doors and windows that fascinate many of us? Especially artists and photographers?

Old Storefront in Leslie, Arkansas. Photo by Kathy Weiser- Alexander.

Big, small, colorful, antique, new, arched, stained, and paned, it seems that they beg to be opened — to learn about what might be behind them, what stories they may tell?. History, culture, experiences and tales, lurk behind. Sometimes, doors and windows are full of patterns, textures, and designs — so much so, that many are art forms, in and of themselves.

There’s a message to be contemplated in whether they are open or closed. Do they welcome in the breeze and visitors, or lock out something unknown?

Some are huge and some are intimidating, some are small and just there. But, for many of us, they are so intriguing and fascinating, we just have to perpetuate their image.

Ever notice that children seem to also be fascinated with doors and windows? Especially doors — “let me see”, pulling things out of cabinets; opening, closing, and slamming? Getting into them  — finding a “treasure”.

In my opinion, they “tell” us something more than just history, etc. and the “something” is, most likely, about ourselves. I have always had a problem with closing cabinet doors, so much so, that my daughter complained about it from a young age. I asked a Shrink, who said that my “problem” was that I just never wanted to “shut doors behind me.” Ok.

But, other folks have said it far better. It seems that writers are also fascinated with windows:


Tree at my Window

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Robert Frost

“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

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” — John Barrymore

“Knock, and the door will be opened for you.” — Jesus Christ

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.

Edgar Allan Poe

Charleston, SC – Door by Frances Benjamin Johnston about 1936

“There comes a time in a man’s life when to get where he has to go — if there are no doors or windows — he walks through a wall.” — Bernard Malamud

“I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” — Shauna Niequist

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — Milton Berle

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” — Graham Greene

“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.” — Carl Sandburg

“If you shut the door to all errors, truth will be shut out.” — Rabindranath Tagore

“If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.” — Joan Crawford

“When 10 doors are slammed in your face, go to door number 11 enthusiastically, with a smile on your face.” – John Paul DeJoria

Stained glass windows at a Greenville Texas church. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander

“There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin.” — Charlie Gordan

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“Be an opener of doors” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A very little key will open a very heavy door.” — Charles Dickens, Hunted Down

“Life is a house with millions of doors. Here is a good strategy of life: Open the doors, open as much as you can, open as much as possible, open the doors!” — Mehmet Murat Ildan

“A house without books is like a room without windows.” — Horace Mann

“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” — Edith Wharton

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?” — William Shakespeare

“Artists exist to show us the world. So do windows.” — Jarod Kintz 

“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.” — — Charles H. Spurgeon

“Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.”

Rumi (The Essential Rumi)

Doors ‘n’ Windows Slideshow:

All available for prints and products via our Photo Print Shop HERE.

Also See: 

Cemeteries – Outdoor Museums of the Forgotten Past

Emerging Ghost Towns of the Plains