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  • Writer's pictureLinda Beatrice Brown

The Other Side of the Door

The Other Side of the Door

We are without.

Bereft of the shapes and sounds and touches we so cherish. We are on the other side of the door. This door is not marked, “Here Be Dragons,” but marked “Here Be the Smallest of Dangerous Beasties. Open at your own risk.”

We are missing the lives we have lived, treasures too precious for pricing. The sound of a child’s laughter, the feel of a friend’s hug, the tickling of ice in a restaurant glass, the shape of the shadow of our companions on the city’s sidewalk.

We are bereft. Without.

We are on the outside, on the wrong side of the door.

Like Alice we have fallen down the rabbit hole into a strange Wonderland, into a wilderness of unknown challenges and sometimes hellish choices. For now, there is no going home. But look carefully; Wonderland is never empty.

What gifts might there be for us? What wonders on the wrong side of this door?

There are gifts here for the taking. Like Alice we are not left without mysterious messages.

We have instructions from exotic voices, alien and unfamiliar though they be.

There are voices here that speak of the language of trees and creatures, or the hundred different shades of roses’ red, or the wood thrush that sings its own opera.

There are voices here that tell of the presence of Presence and the gifts of the wisdom that lives in silence.

But maybe the most important gift is in the box that’s labeled “Open me. For the children of the earth.”

When we open the box, the directions are as clear as directions tend to be in Wonderland. They say, “Here is a list. The list of the most UNIMPORTANT things you will ever know about anybody.” And curiously, unimportant is written in capital letters. Just like that.

Here is the list:

The color of his skin

the shape of her eyes

the sex he was born with

the texture of her hair

the name of his God

the person she loves

the abilities he was born with

Inside that box is a smaller box. When we open it there is another message. It says, “This is the way to the gift we all need: the sound and the shape of your heart. This will take you to the other side of the door when it is time.”

© Linda Beatrice Brown

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