Drafts and Draughts

June 3, 2010

The imagery of a door has long been used as a metaphor for accessing the metaphysical, spiritual and mystical.  Then there is Aldous Huxley’s quote (which was later paraphrased by Jim Morrison:

There are things known and there are things unknown,

and in between are the doors of perception.

I had always been a sooky-la-la when it came to living on my own. The thought of things going bump in the night and not having a bloke in-situ to investigate, led to me to make some questionable choices regarding early relationships.

For sure, I have lived in some rental houses that have had felt off-kilter. One place in particular, the previous tenants made a point of informing us, that if we had young children, to not put them in a certain bedroom – that house had a bad case of rising damp.  It was also the house in which I celebrated my 21st birthday and, metaphorically, received the ‘key to the door’.  

That house, in Jaguar Drive, was a damn spooky house and while I worked 9-5, my then-partner, worked nights, and from 6pm-6am, I was on my own, with my active imagination, anxieties and all my senses on hyper-alert.  All these years later, I am bemused in an “Oh-now-I-understand” way, that my Panic-Anxiety disorder first growled when I was living in this house.  Or maybe my first growling pains as a Shaman………..

So many years later, when preparing to spend the first night on my own, in a new house, after leaving my husband, I was wondering how I would fare because I was 37 and I had never really lived on my own.

A few hours after falling asleep, I was to confront my fear when a crashing noise woke me up.  The front door had swung open and was bouncing back-and-forth against the security chain: it sounded like somebody was trying to break in.

With my heart thumping and adrenalin racing through my veins, I closed the door rationalizing that it was “just the wind” – yet it wasn’t a  windy night.

It was funny-peculiar that on that first night, the thing I feared most – bumps in the night – happened and once my initial startle-response ebbed away, I realised that I more bemused than really shit-myself-scared. 

After almost 12 years of living on my own and having front doors mysteriously swing open within days of moving to a new abode, and living in many places, I can honestly say that that night back in June 1998, marked a real turning-point.  Whatever niggling paranoia I had about being alone in a house during the night vanished that night and I knew that everything would be alright, especially when all external evidence would be indicating otherwise.

During these last 12 years, I have met many women in my age-group and younger, who are just not comfortable living on their own or with not being in a relationship, while I am possibly a tad too comfortable with my quirky-alone status.  Planetary placements and aspects in my natal chart indicate that I am highly-independent and need my own space moreso than others, and yeah, I’ll raise a glass of Guinness to that.

When doors inexplicably open and close by their own volition, I can reason it is just the wind and shrug it off, or I can pay attention to the symbolic meaning.  A little while ago, I was sitting here, minding my own business, when the front door swung open, it’s arc stopped by the security chain, and a gust of wind swept through slamming shut the back door.

It’s just my dad.  He was a Security Guard – a Night Watchman – and my anxiety about being alone at night ramped up after he died.  His physical presence had always been comforting, yet when that sneak-thief Death called, it also stole a sense of comfort from me.

It wasn’t until a good nine years after my father died, that I realized he had never left.  I have consulted with a fair few psychics over the years, and not once have they said “Your father is here” or delivered a message.  Maybe he has been hanging back, silent.  He was silent in life, it follows that he may be equally as silent in death.

I dunno.  All I do know is that when he died, his bedside clock stopped at the exact time of his death and whatever plans I had for my life, completely fell by the wayside as I became my mother’s carer for the next 11 years.

My father died right before Christmas and later we would find the presents he had bought.  My gift was a set of kitchen knives. Really funny because the only piece of advice my father ever gave me was:

Sometimes, you have to cut your losses.

Damn right.  During his living years, my father was emotionally unavailable and remote.  My mother villianized him and I idealized him, yet in between lies another perception, rooted in the Grail story of the abstract and enigmatic Fisher King.

‘Tis passing strange, that on the occasion of another birthday, I had been given the key to another door.


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