By Adrienne Rich, in The Fact of a Doorframe
Either you will
go through this door
or you will not go through.
If you go through
there is always the risk
of remembering your name.
Things look at you double and you must
and let it happen.
If you do not go through
it is possible
to live worthily
to maintain your attitudes
to hold your opinions
to die bravely
but much will blind you
much will evade you
at what cost who knows?
The door itself makes no promises.
It is only a door.
A new year and a deeper understanding to where God is calling me. This Tuesday (or maybe last depending on when I have access to internet giving me the ability to post this as right now I am on retreat in the middle of the woods in southern Florida) will mark one year since making the decision to say yes to this next step in my journey to finding and understanding God’s call in my life. January 5th, the feast of Saint John Neumann, was the day I shared this decision to walk through the door.
I walked into a meeting with Mary Beth, completely unrelated to the topic of discernment and vocation, and announced in the South Entrance doorway to Our Lady of Angels, that I was ready to jump in and just do it! She gathered herself up off the floor (metaphorically speaking) but remained a bit shocked, much like a deer in headlights, as we walked to the dining room where she turned to me and said, “Go get something to eat, I need a minute to collect my thoughts.”
This poem, shared this evening on retreat, brings these memories to the forefront of my thoughts. I have always held the image of the doorway as the truest understanding of my discernment. As we reflected on this image, and this poem I wrote these words:
Deciding to enter with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia was a doorframe I stood outside of, pondering for years about what was inside. Distractions came that drew me away from the doorframe for a time but something always grasped my curiosity and lured me back to gaze in at the inside world. A world I had experienced through the stories of others but never first hand. Years of wondering wore away my questions that caused such hesitation in walking through--though I still had no answers I realized the only way to find them was to go through myself--walk the halls.
Since walking through I’ve “remembered my name.” Those distractions that drew me away from the doorframe were never true to me--they were fun but not fulfilling.
Further reflection on this image raises an awareness within myself, and though I am at risk of overusing the image, home is what comes to mind. Home is where I find myself.