Driveways and Doorknobs

September 13, 2007

Daddy made his living as a real estate appraiser. As a child, I’d proudly hold the tape measure while Daddy meted out the rooms of a house to draw a floor plan. I learned how to knock on walls to determine either drywall or plaster construction. Even more, Daddy taught me to look for qualitative clues that identified value. One of the telling elements, he said, was the driveway.

The driveway? Daddy could never figure out why someone with a lovely large lot would place beacons on either side of the entrance. "Look at that," he’d point out, "they have a huge front yard and nice wide driveway. Then, they pen themselves in by putting a fence, large boulders, or some concrete markers right up to the edge of both sides of the driveway! They have all this room and then restrict themselves by maneuvering between the barriers."

Doorknobs, like driveways, also provide ingress. If we take a larger view at driveways as the path to our spirit and doorknobs as the path to our hearts, we find some interesting correlations.

Side by Side
Even though divided by personal space, the side by side driveway, a metaphorical approach to your spirit, shares its path with another, and renders you no longer autonomous or sovereign. You cannot rely on another person’s route to your own spirituality, even though similar in function and belief. True religious leaders understand their role is to assist you in finding your own path to truth, and they walk away from the role of icon or guru.

Side by side doorknobs, as in French or double doors, mirror one another, symmetrically aligned on parallel panels. Curiously, most of these types of entrances include a stationary door and only one that swings open and closed. So, why build a set of double doors with matching handles? In a similar fashion, the doorways to our inner self both open and close at the same time. We carefully allow entry to some thought or idea, while remaining closed off to other more full-door sized concepts. What elements of the access to your heart are either movable or permanently closed?

Circular driveways allow proximity to the intended destination, by coming along side of it, but never confronting it head-on. When considering similar approaches to our spirit, a curved or even circuitous pathway permits acknowledgment of the arrival of new concept in our lives, but with a sideways approach. Self-actualization merely honks the horn and waits for you to come greet it in a circular path to your true spirit. Eventually, you must face universal truths without a buffer zone between you and your intentions.

The revolving doors on office buildings, designed without knobs or handles, complement the circular driveway. Many people at once gain access to the building of your heart, and just like the circular driveway, these doors allow for multiple visitors on the swath. The lack of knobs or handles also hints at an unwillingness to permit direct control over ingress and egress. When we lovingly examine the circular driveways and revolving doors of our hearts, we see an unspoken design to prevent energy from directly touching our spirits.

"Entrance around back," the sign says as you approach a storefront close to the street. Mysterious urban driveways providing no street access, equates to a maze we must navigate to reach the inner self, craftily hidden from view. When we disguise the route to our true self from others, we also drive our value behind us. In forcing yourself or others to travel back alleys to find the route to your spirit, the challenge itself becomes the focal point, rather than the beauty within.

On some modern vehicles, designed without handles or push button releases, the "keyless" door entry shakes us from the unexpected platform. The lock and release mechanisms, hidden from view, exist nonetheless and again leave the passenger, if not the owner, with an extra step or challenge to gain entry. If you, too, hide the most expedient way to open your heart, you make it difficult for others and yourself to speed away in the better life roadster .

The straight-on entrance from the street into your world cries out, "Here I am!" Visitors align perfectly with the entry to your spirit and walk directly into your life. No mystery or indirectness about it, when you allow direct contact with who you are, the world comes to the door of your heart from the path of your spirit.

Curved knobs, flapped thumb pads together with a push, glass knobs, long vertical handles or even security bars exemplify the many ways we enter, or secure, the doors in our lives.

Neither driveways or doorknobs, examples of accessibility to our private selves, define a person’s intentions or fears. The choices one makes in selecting the type of open door or path to one’s heart may merely be analogous to these two separate means of entry. Keep in mind they also provide a means of exit, too. As doors swing open and closed, so does your willing heart. The path to your true self isn’t concrete or stone. It’s paved with love and always leads right where you are at this moment.

(877 words)

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