(This column is dedicated to my friend Ray Talbot, who passed away recently. Ray knew how to look at all sides of an argument with finesse. He was a genius at that art.)

When one door opens, does another shut behind it? Or is it the same door with a faulty hinge? Is it polite to kick a door open if it is the only way to get out of a room, or does tradition always apply?

Do people talk about glass ceilings because they have no doors? How many doors do we have to open to get where we want to go? 

Do lifetime politicians understand they can get up and leave so someone else can enter through the door? Is it fair when one person wants to go out the door and the other wants to stay to turn it into a dutch door?

Why does life seem sometimes like it is a revolving door and you are getting nowhere? How do you know not to open a door that will end up as your last door? And while discussing Doors, why do people still go to concerts to see them?

I ponder about doors a lot because it seems I have had to go through many, both metaphorical and real-life, doors, and that can be tiring.

Everyone’s life needs some doors, or let’s face it, some people would never leave the womb. Others, after hearing that everything they needed to learn they learned in kindergarten, decided to just stay there. We would have some real traffic control problems if people decided not to open the next door and go on.

While I am writing tongue in cheek, most truths go down easier that way. Like unwanted guests, some people stay in one place too long for both theirs and others’ good.

Among my favorite examples of these door dodgers are politicians who never read the shelf life on their own forehead. The best meal in the world can go rancid in time, and so can some people’s minds.

Fresh air is good, and so are fresh ideas, and staying within two closed doors too long can at times make a person’s ego, and thirst for power, greater than their love of service. Progress eventually does have something to do with a forward direction.

That’s one of the reasons I do not believe in life terms for supreme court justices. With an election season about to burst upon us until we are sick of it, now is a good time to think about why you want or do not want someone to stay put.

You may not like your job, and you probably could do better, but….what if your next job is harder, they don’t  like me, or I don’t like it?

If our forefathers had been scared of doors, they would never have crossed the ocean. It is healthy sometimes to say, nice being here, but the next door awaits me.

Relationships can really be like that, too. Some are just the perfect size and last forever; others prepare you for opening the next door, even if at times while you’re kicking and screaming.

I have been pushed through a few doors myself lately, and it did not feel good at the time, but very often it really proves to be a good move. 

And talk about doors and moving? Do not even get me started on that one. I have moved so many times in my life it really did feel like a revolving door at times–at least until I moved to Los Banos, and then for 32 years the door stayed contentedly shut.

But, alas, I’d grown complacent, snuggled in for that long winter’s nap and then pow! A kicked-in door woke me up! Actually,  that door hit me in the face over and over until my head hurt.

My mind played with keeping my foot stuck in the door so it wouldn’t be completely shut. That did not work. My house on Page Avenue sold, and papers have been signed, and so, I have become resigned. 

But I have noticed something. When a door is shut behind you, no matter how much you loved that time, it becomes the stuff of memory, and it’s no longer reality.

Opening a new door can be frightening, but it’s the only direction we can go unless we are done. And I really don’t think any of us wants to be done. So when I finally began to let the door stay shut, I started to get glimpses of new doors and new possibilities.

Who knows?  Maybe there are more doors left for me to open before my term ends. 

Diana J. Ingram

Diana Ingram has been a columnist for Los Banos newspapers for four decades.