Reading the Room

Volume 7, Issue 07
April 7, 2022

There are always two sides to a door. It has two faces without being two-faced. It is derived by merging two Old English forms: the singular “dor” and the plural “duru.”

To be a door is to embrace multiplicities.

To be a door is to make choices all your life. More accurately to be a door is to perpetually unmake the choice that you last made; to choose between being opened, or being closed.

To be a door is to choose without taking sides.

For the door that stays shut forever becomes the wall; the door that stays open forever becomes an opening. Walls and openings are not doors; they are walls and openings. However, no matter how long the door remains in a state of non-doorness, the possibility of changing its mind always remains.

To be a door is to never be beyond redemption.

However familiar it becomes with the extreme states of total openness and total closure, the door is never pulled to extremes. It balances both sides and maintains an equipoise. Migrating forever between one state and the other, settling in neither, at home in transit and never on arrival.

To be a door is to be a nomad.

Its pathways are clockwise as well as anticlockwise. The axis of its rotation is the axis mundi. Forever circumambulating and retracing its steps forever.

To be a door is to be a pilgrim, who never stops questioning.

You open a door to enter a room. The door swings in. It swings in to close a doorless cupboard built into the side wall against which the door comes to rest. You open the cupboard. The door swings out. It swings out to close the room that was until then doorless.

To be a door is to understand openness and closure simultaneously.

H. Masud Taj is an award-winning Adjunct Professor of Architecture. His memoir-in-progress is titled Hyphen: Recollections of an Architect-Poet-Calligrapher-Teacher.

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Volume 7, Issue 07
April 7, 2022

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