Three doors

Notice is hearby given

A note is pinned to the great oak door:  A wedding is taking place. Of course! The woman we saw earlier carrying lilies into the castle; the waiter setting glasses on white linen.

I can’t imagine getting married in such a grand venue. Something about its scale unsettles me. A print of Folon’s American Flag hangs in my living room, a reminder of the discomfort I feel in large spaces. No wonder I came back to live in Ireland. An entire country smaller than the state of Ohio.

Not many castles in Ohio.  The wedding photos will be spectacular.

Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford
Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford

Front Door

The Famine Exhibit is well done. I wander through the exhibition rooms until I come to the door of the Callan Workhouse. It hangs in its frame surrounded by empty space, its knocker waiting ominously.

I stand in front of the door, my fifteen year-old daughter by my side. I can’t bring myself to touch the knocker.  Not even now, a hundred and seventy-three years after the workhouse first opened, ninety-five years after it closed.

Original  Workhouse Door, from Callan, Co. Kilkenny.
Original Workhouse Door, from Callan, Co. Kilkenny.

The fog will clear

Classes start soon. Some of my students will be back in a classroom for the first time in decades.

We often read Miroslav Holub’s poem The Door at the start of term. The students see it as an invitation to change. I see it as a celebration of the changes they’ve already made by coming back to education.

We almost always like it.

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Thatched Cottage, Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
Thatched Cottage, Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford


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