Sunday, May 19, 2013

my complex guru

A brightness shines
Beyond the door

I belong to an online writing group. Every Saturday we give ourselves the challenge to observe something and write about it using only six words. One night I couldn’t sleep so I went to my living room. It was about three in the morning and the room was black except for the light shining beyond the entrance door to my apartment. I share the ground floor with another unit, the laundry room and some storage lockers. They are conjoined by a small common hallway with no windows so lights in this little hall by necessity are always shining. When I first moved into this building complex the light beyond the door creeped me out; some sign of sinister foreboding from a B grade movie. It still unsettles me at times. Anyways, on this particular morning I looked at the door and wondered if I could describe it in six words. It was quite simple really: a brightness shines beyond the door.

I have lived in this building for several years and never realized how innocently profound a concept greeted me each night I woke to warm up milk, use the washroom or watch the late show on television; a brightness shines beyond the door. It took a small mindful challenge for me to see my doorway with new respect. A world of shiny possibilities is out there if one just turns the knob and opens the door.

Is it really that easy? Not quite. Once in the hallway I am greeted by five others doors. One will always be locked to me unless someone else chooses to open it. Two other doors I can open with the use of a key. The key opens the door to the laundry room. I can clean up the dirt from my past there. I am also able to wash away the grime of daily living if willing to take the time and shell out the $3.25 necessary for the machines. The key also opens the door to my storage locker. This locker stores items from my past and those items that are barely used. It is my choice how often I wish to visit them and open up. Yet there are two other doors I can use at any time and are clearly marked exit. I have options and I am free to use them.

The choices come with dilemmas. Once I go past the doors with the exit signs I am greeted by stairs. The stairs are not much. One staircase consists of three steps and the other about eight.  I usually take the shorter staircase because it leads to my car. However if I want to get my mail I need to take the longer staircase. It takes a little more effort to reap the benefits of correspondence but not much. At one time there was no railing on this staircase and someone fell down it so it can be a bit treacherous too. Never be in a hurry to seek out the words and advice of others. Be mindful of all you do and watch your own footsteps for guidance. What is done in haste may create delays with a single misstep. 

At the end of these staircases are more stairs that lead to the upper storeys and also to doors for going outside. If I stay inside I get caught up in other people’s dramas. I am free to choose this. Yet outside is where the true brightness shines. This is where I prefer to talk to my neighbours. Out in the open air and free of all the strange odours brewing in lifeless hallways. It all starts with opening that first door.

A brightness shines beyond the door. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Perhaps it is. Choices open up when willing to open that first door. Who would have guessed that an apartment complex with thin walls and a water heater that goes on the fritz on a regular basis would become my guru for life’s lessons? Perhaps I am finally learning them.

Good. Now I can move.

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