The open door

The open door

-for Jesse Thistle

When you say you are sorry (from your heart), you open the door to a room within. A cool, peaceful space where a breeze blows in the half-open window and green leaves brush against the glass. You enter and sit in the chair, yellow sun slants across your face and there are no distractions. You’ve begun to understand pain—being hurt and hurting others. You’ve started to make space for it, and in consequence, find yourself here in this room where pain lives side by side with your heart, in peace.

When you say you are sorry, a door opens and something new begins. The door may open to a different place where sad stories and tragedies fill only a few rooms in a great, sprawling house. A house also filled with laughter and the smells of supper cooking, the quiet murmur of voices in prayer. Someone’s fingers tapping on a keyboard, writing a story; someone else singing, another sewing. Listen to the sounds of children running in and out of the house, playing hide-and-seek in a field, gathering wood for the bonfire. They remember and dream as you do, memories and dreams of their own, mysteries falling from the stars, sparks of light shimmering among trees in summer. This house has always been here. But maybe you belonged to a people that painted over the door. Whole other lives. You never saw them until now.

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