Saturday, November 19, 2005

Meager Old Door


Needless to say, I've always fostered a deep fascination for old houses and old doors. What was it that first ignited the passion. Serenity maybe, warmth, magic. Pure organic beauty. Or some old door with a homegrown story that somehow got lost in the dimly lit alleys of my childhood memory. Who knows.

The inciting reason was gone but the object remained with me nonetheless. Each door to my mind had become a gateway to a universe waiting, and a passage to a wonderful place called home.

Each door was also hiding a story. At least one story that I constantly thought about, dreamt of, and delicately wove of my imagination. How could I not imagine when not once had I really found the courage to knock, get inside and find out.

I did, though, ask my father about one. One that looked so old and so torn it was almost human. My father who spent most of his life in Beirut and knew its shadiest corners, said he knew the owners well. An octagenarian man who used to work at the ministry of agriculture, and his wife, both left alone in their two-thirds of a century old house by a son and a daughter who married, and left to Canada and the Emirates.

I kept listening, eager for more. But that was it. An aged couple and a simple story of them raising their kids and letting them sail through oceans of their own. Nothing else. No mysteries. No beautiful girls, no fairytales, no dreams. At least none that I would accept as such. Just an old couple abandoned to their nearing fate.

I regretted asking him. Because of him, I suddenly lost one of my stories to reality. My consolation was to later understand that my father just happened to know about the one door with no secrets and no fairytales. He knew about the exception. And there were so many other ones which he certainly knew nothing about. Those were the ones I would hang onto, and diligently recreate. And so I did.

Though sometimes I would get my doors and my stories mixed up, I never stopped dreaming about old doors and hidden legends. As I grew older, I started painting them also, and writing some of what I created in my thriving, still juvenile imagination.

Many years have passed since then. Today, as I post a new picture of a new meager old door and its dark green tiara, I take a quick peek inside the door that opens onto my aging young soul, and realize this much. That this is one journey I won't be abandoning anytime soon.


Blogger Delirious said...

Missed your writing!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous mabelle said...

Dreaming of happiness before opening a door and being deceived after seeing what was really behind it has caused me so much sadness..
You think i should learn to stop dreaming?

9:25 AM  
Blogger [ j i m m y ] said...

it feels so good.

many thanks fouad.

3:27 PM  
Blogger crallspace said...

Old doors are interesting. I like old forgotten buildings and really would like to explore their interiors more often, but people are weird about trespassing in Oregon. You can get shot and die, just for being curious.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Thanks Del. And Jimmy, many thanks to you for reminding me..

Mabelle, I guess you know by now what I think. Nothing is sadder than a life without dreams.

Crallspace, thanks for stopping by. And please don't get me started on guns and trespassing. Any system where human life is worth less than property is one that needs to and will eventually be brought down in shame.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

w bwab bwab chi ghereb chi s7ab, chi msakkar w nater ta yerja3o l2a7bab .......
the anonymous:)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Tempest said...

That's a fantastic photo, fouad. You've got some awesome work on here!!!

2:11 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Thanks tempest. Means a lot from someone who takes truly great pictures.

8:54 PM  

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