open doors

Keeping doors open has always seemed to me to be a good thing to do —

Seemed to be about possibilities and options and —

And why not be open to —

What could be?

But then again —

What could walk through that door you left open might end up to be —

Not so good for you.

Ya see where I’m goin with this?

It’s all about context — or should I say —

Mindfulness — or maybe controlled access.

Or not.

Oh, for the love of god — I’m not sure what the hell I’m trying to say here.

What I do know is that last Saturday night —

While my 20-year-old nephew was sound asleep —

Alone in the house —

The sliding glass door was open.

And he woke up to intruders  helping themselves to his family’s jewelry, stereos and computers.

They left without harming him, thank God.  But it made me think harder about the concept of leaving doors open as it relates to taking responsibility for yourself in life.

The Saturday night intruders, you see, were no strangers to the house.  They were uninvited guests at a party the night before.  Came in with someone else —

Maybe twice removed from the original guest list —

And allowed to stay because —- well, maybe it won’t hurt — after all, isn’t it good to be —


Hey, I’ve done it.  Do it —

All the time.  Call it liberal-benefit-of-the-doubt-thinking, over-idealistic —

Or just plain stupid —

But I’ve always been more  inclined to make the circle bigger, reserve judgment, remain — well, yes —


And I’ve been lucky.

Sure I’ve had things taken from me.  And I’ve had to ask people to leave — or leave myself on occasion.  But this episode made me think harder about the risks of exposure.  And the choices I make that might indirectly put myself and others in avoidable pain.

I’m not sayin’ I’m ready to put a guard outside my door 24/7.

But I am definitely looking harder at levels of access and when it’s appropriate to deny access altogether.

And this is a good thing — for me.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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