Shall I make you a list?
One day in November of 2011, I suddenly became very concerned that I would lock my keys inside somewhere and myself out. Or in. Or something. My mother had recently given up driving and there wasn’t another adult who who could come to my rescue in the event that my keys and I became separated. The often frantic Where-Are-My-Keys dance that I routinely do, made all the more frenetic in direct proportion to how late I am leaving, took on new urgency.
For a week or more, I was fried by the problem. With a keypad for the garage, it logically should be possible for me to get into the house. But what if I was at the studio? What if arriving at the studio I set my keys down, as I have done, gathered an armload from the front seat, and flung the car door closed, the keys within? I would be standing with studio laundry or a bale of paper towels or new yoga props, no keys, no purse, no cell phone, outside a locked studio door. I could see the whole thing play out in my mind and the more I noodled the issue, the more the problem loomed.
Ultimately the answer wasn’t very hard. I calmed down and set about collecting several complete sets of keys. There’s one set that never leaves my house and another, including a key that miraculously bypasses the electronic features of the car, stored with a dear friend who would rescue me in a heartbeat. I divided out the other keys and carry only the ones that I need. Upon arriving home, I stash the keys on a hook near the door to the garage or in the key drawer; out in the world I endeavor to put them in the same pocket in my purse whenever I get out of the car. These systems in place, I felt much better. For a while.
This year my visualization practice brought me to a door, one that opens in or out. It leads into home, into the studio, and swinging either direction also into the world. The door to everywhere is the icon I now draw on the shower glass each morning. In meditation and visualization, twenty-thirteen presented itself as the year doors would open for me. In contrast, the very real doors in my life started to act up.
Here’s the list:
- The door latch between the garage and the house became stripped and stopped closing.
- The screen door that I painstakingly rescreened myself tore right out, the spline staying
put but the screen ripping
- The lock in the studio door handle mysteriously began locking itself at random moments
- The garage door keypad malfunctioned for the last time rendering the garage door
operable only with an actual opener
- The freezer door developed the new unfortunate habit of not easily sliding all the way closed, warming the contents within
- The driver’s side door on my brand new car started to discolor, turning into an unripe tangerine in contrast to the rich color of the rest of the car
On the same car, the new car I’ve been driving less than three months, the rear left tire started getting squishy. New cars tell you, among other things, the air pressure in the tires. Four times the warning light came on urging me to add air to the rear left tire. After the car sat for five days in the garage, the pressure was down to just over half. I put air in it for the fifth time since I’ve owned the car and called the dealer.
Just like malfunctioning doors, that’s not the only squishy tire in my fleet. All three tires on my recumbent trike, the front tires on the lawn tractor, and a mis-installed new tire on the convertible have been flat or low during the last six months. I can’t make a move without checking tire pressure and adding air.
I love metaphors, live by them and the meanings they impart. And so I ask another question: new and old, why are the doors and tires—the openings and the ability to move—so flawed in my world?
Taking a page from dream interpretation, squishy tires are easy—they represent something going wrong when the dreamer is trying to make progress. True enough. Even if it’s simply taking time to pump up the tires before using the vehicle, it slows progress to add air. It’s an extra step that can be ignored only if one is willing to risk the lasting working order of the equipment. Late again? The car tire needs air before you can go.
A door in a dream is the road to opportunity. A broken door is more complicated—it isn’t exactly impassable, most of the time, and there isn’t anything preventing you from fixing the door or having it fixed. But if you have to stop and consider the door, perhaps use it more carefully or turn to close it gently behind you, it’s one more step you must take before moving to the next level. You might understand that there’s an opportunity through that door you’re keen to pursue, but you might not be able to make it there because too many obstacles get in the way. The broken door is a gatekeeper, a sign you may have to wait before you can explore the new opportunity.
Dream doors and tires can be dusted away along with sleep when the alarm goes off. My door and tire issues are all too real—and so in waking hours I attend to them, taking my car to the dealership for first one repair, then the other. As it turned out there was a nail in the tire of the Dart, and it’s repaired, holding pressure beautifully. The mechanic worked it in on a hot and busy Tuesday, fixing it for free, and I was driving safely again by the end of the day. Teased apart from the other things on my to do list, it got done. The discolored door has been a longer process, but the car has an appointment to be repainted, courtesy of the manufacturer, in August. All in good time. Divine right time, actually.
As it is with most things, I need to learn the lesson again. There’s a moment when the universe presents opportunity. If we don’t take it, the opportunity will come back in a bigger, better and often more challenging way. So too, opportunity may appear to be out there, behind door number one, but the path may slow us down. Those are signs I need to look for and learn to trust—trust that my attention is needed locally, on the individual details close at hand. If the opportunity I thought I was looking through the door toward goes away, it wasn’t the right one. If it’s meant to be, I’ll get there.
Happy Full Thunder Moon! Eleven, Fourteen and I are going to head out for a few days early next month, so I’ll skip celebrating the new moon with you here in August—but like always, we’ll be under the very same moon. The peeps and I are headed for Northern California—maybe we’ll go look at the redwoods, a place where it’s good to see both the forest and the trees. Namaste, with my love & thanks for reading, Rxo