‘There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked, and when Alice had been all round it, and tried them all, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again: suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there was nothing lying upon it, but a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first idea was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall ...’ (Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures under Ground, Dover Publications)
As a teenager of the trippy, hippy-happy seventies, I’ve seen a few people chase white rabbits down dark burrows. However, the hall that Alice finds herself in, with its many doors, has, with the ticking of the rabbit’s watch, acquired less of a surreal association for me, than as a place that symbolises the possibilities in life. Behind each door is the adventure of a new opportunity, with its own risks and rewards, dangers and pleasures, and in the grounds of each new opportunity there’ll always be another burrow and another hall with doors all round. And doors like this should be opened, never shut, don't you think? If you find a key to a door, then you have to see what’s on the other side. After all, if only monsters lurk there, and you don't want to learn to dance with them, it’s sometimes possible to step back.
Last week a door opened. And after a quick peek through, I couldn’t see any monsters. Not one.
Having mentioned in my last post that The View From Here had been relaunched as an online literary magazine, I was delighted to receive an invitation `to become a regular contributor. It’s fair to say my first reaction was one of panic because, despite the comments I’ve made about change and opening doors rather than shutting them, I’ll initially resist change with the best of them. Too right, I’ll sink into a comfortable routine if I can. After all, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do as much writing as I want and still earn a living as it is. All the same, after giving myself a good talking to, I reminded myself that this is exactly the type of door I like and that the view from its threshold is exciting. Very exciting. So, to hell with sleep and chewing meals properly and getting to work on time and ... and ... there are lots of ways to find an extra hour or two in the day to do the things you love doing. Aren’t there?
Come and visit. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.
There's no way this post could finish without Jefferson Airplane playing White Rabbit.