Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #20 – Open Sesame–Doors and Doorways

Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.~Eugene O’Neill

Tina challenges us this week to find images which hint at mysteries and secrets just beyond the doorway.  A wonderful idea, Tina!  One of the reasons I love photography is because it is a visual form of storytelling.  It also challenges us to find magic amidst the ordinary.

This first image was shot one day this autumn when we were visiting Northampton, Massachusetts.  I spotted this door which looked like something out of a fairy tale.  The odd juxtaposition of the red gabled roof and the Gothic window stirred my imagination.

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.~Emily Dickinson

On the same visit to Northampton, we visited the poet Emily Dickinson’s house where we met Oscar, this friendly gray cat.  According to people who work there, he wandered into the yard one day and made it his home.  Here he is sitting by the side door of the house.  I imagined that Oscar loved this place because he conversed regularly with the spirit of Emily Dickinson, who was known to love cats.

Oscar at Emily’s Side Door

You suppose that you are the lock on the door. But you are the key that opens it.~Rumi

Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of The Game of Thrones, but this pair of dragons set above an iron gate captivated me.  They guard one of the many wonderful paths that traverse the Borghese Gardens in Rome.

Gate in the Borghese Gardens, Rome.

Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.~Alexander Graham Bell

It’s easy to imagine kings and queens passing through this elegant gate to the Royal Palace in Paris.  But its gilded splendor also reminded me of stories like Les Miserables and The Scarlet Pimpernel set in the era of the French Revolution.  For millions of peasants, I’m sure this gate was another tangible proof of the opulence of the aristocracy.

Royal Palace, Paris. Shot with a Fuji X-T2.

My last image is one of the famous doors in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.  The juxtaposition of the medieval and the modern sparked my imagination.

The doorway of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze.

Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.~Victor Pinchuk

Creativity is a doorway to wonder and mystery.  It lights the fire of our imagination.  That’s why I believe that artists and their creative works are portals, leading the way to new ideas, and extending our vision beyond the horizon to new worlds, to new possibilities.

A special thanks to Tina for hosting this week’s challenge.  Stay tuned for my challenge #21 on Saturday, November 24th at noon.

I hope that creativity inspires you to open new doors this week!

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41 replies »

  1. I was introduced to “open sesame” long before I was introduced to sesame seeds or sesame street for that matter. As a child I always had a fascination for what lies behind a door to which I do not have access to and that is still true I suppose but it is broaden to doorways of thought and doorways into actual caves. I am thinking these things because of your post, I now realize I may be practising for my own post still to be published. Thus I owe my apologies and gratefulness in equal measures.

    The Santa Maria de Fiore door is quite a door and I love it when you speak foreign. Mr Bell certainly has a point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Abrie. I think it’s true that as children we have an appreciation of and curiosity about “what’s behind the door.” It’s magical to them. I also think fairy tales often feature doors (the big bad wolf knocking down the door and Alice in Wonderland opening doors). It’s a great part of our mythology! I wonder what doorway your post will lead us through this week!

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    • Hi, Jackie. I had a feeling you’d like that one about Emily. 🙂 I didn’t know about the 6-toed cats living at Hemingway’s house. How exotic! I hope all’s well with you!

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  2. Oh my, I love the Firenze Cathedral door so much! I was twice there and didn’t take a photo of it. Neither was I in the Boboli Gardens (which is also there and not in Rome as your caption says). It’s good to know so much beauty remains to be seen. Lovely photos all around!

    Liked by 1 person

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