“The long and winding road, that leads, to your door will never disappear, I’ve seen that road before. It always leads me here, lead me to your door.” – Composers: McCartney and Lennon (1970)
Jerry Van Dyke passed away last week at the age of 86. I was so sorry to hear of yet another master at comic relief leaving us with a bit less laughter than before. His brother, Dick Van Dyke, released a statement revealing a couple of unknown facts to me. After mentioning that Jerry had been born with a severe birth defect, an enlarged funny bone, he went on to say Jerry was in a car accident back in 2015 that began a health spiral. As a side note, which I wholeheartedly agree with, he added that Jerry was brilliant in comedic timing to the nanosecond. Dick Van Dyke went on to say that his brother deserved more, in that he was underrated. I gasped when he mentioned that Jerry had turned down the role of Gilligan for a then new series entitled, “Gilligan’s Island.” What a mistake that was. Yet, Jerry walked through many doors to great success. Come to think of it, in retrospect, I’ve made similar mistakes. How about you?
A few posts ago I had mentioned that my mom inherited her parents house after they had passed away. It was built in the 1840’s. I know that house like the back of my hand. One of the unique structures in the house are the cut glass door knobs. My fingerprints can be found on every one of them going back more than five decades. I’ve always loved how they look. Each one has it’s own skeleton key. Here at our house we have three from that era hanging on the wall. The antique door knobs are great for conversation pieces. We use them for coat hangers. For me, they also represent a sweet and innocent part of my life with my grandparents.
For a short time, between radio gigs, I once attempted to pay my bills in the home improvement sales industry, while living in Buffalo, NY. It placed me in many old world homes built in the days of yore, by American standards. Some of which were mansions with four floors, pocket doors, wide hallways and high ceilings. As you wander through those old homes, it’s easy to lose count of how many rooms the old Victorian and pre-Victorian homes have. I don’t think I will ever forget those places I was privileged to see and experience.
As I write this line, we are in mid January of 2018. My last two posts I had compared 2018 to a blank sheet of paper to write on, as well as a long adventurous highway. Why not think of 2018 as a very large house that will take you 12 months to explore? If you enter a large house with many rooms, you will also encounter a multitude of doors.
There is a hard truth here, not to be confused with a modern-day term “Your Truth,” which leaves a false idea that one truth is not another’s truth. There’s no reasoning here to bicker over phraseology. I am, and always will be, one who points out that there are absolute truths ruling all of us while oceans of various opinions, judgments and beliefs run around them. Let me give you a couple of illustrations. Example: “Your Truth” may be that there is no Grand Canyon in Arizona. Maybe it’s because you don’t like the thought that it is there. Maybe you prefer beaches or forests, instead. However, the absolute truth will kill you as you drive your car off the edge of one of its cliffs. Example: New Wave music (Google if needed) was once a hot item for the record industry. However, classics remain the best and most downloaded songs. You might say that the New Wave composer’s and producer’s truth was that it would sell. BOOM! It proved to be an opinion developing into a strong belief, yet the hard truth awards “Permanent Wave” tunes as champs with a longer shelf life. Just ask Carole King, Paul McCartney or Tony Bennett.
Thus, this brings me back to the door knobs to turn or not. The hard truth is, many doors in the house at 2018 Winding Way Street, are to be tested before opening. Frankly, you will walk down its broad hallway and spy a few wide fancy, brilliantly painted, exquisite doors with a crystal cut glass door knob. It will be tantalizing with almost a suction pulling you toward it. Beware of these. Test the door. Many will open that over-sized door to find a room that will destroy their lives. It may be a door to a new, but devastating, relationship that rips out the heart, throws you into poverty and bankruptcy with anguishing life-long nightmares in the end. It may be a job opportunity with a very flaky or questionable organization that leads to nowhere. Maybe the beautiful immense door opens you up to a substance designed to draw you closer to a stroke, heart-attack or a personality alteration that robs you of your own family. Oh, please, test that door.
There will be door knobs to turn that are intended for your hand. In this wide hallway, there will be rooms you should enter to brighten your very existence. If you see a door that seems to lead to golden opportunities, knock and see who opens. However, study well that greeter before entering. Have lots of conversation and then assess well what they say. Some of these doors chosen will allow you to see eternity, beyond your experiences up to this moment. Jerry Van Dyke can tell you about missing this door.
Let me leave you with some solid advice. I don’t consider myself old, yet I am no longer jogging four miles at lunchtime either. My life’s journey has left me with some absolute truths that went against my original hopes, plans and opinions. With that said, some doors will be ancient, even aesthetically not desirable at all. Consider the wisdom of age and long life. Review its squeaky hinges, square-top door-nails and cut glass door knobs. Don’t be timid to turn that knob. There are ancient ways that prove current thought to be nothing but mist or smoke. I have also learned, when you come to a door that has you locked out, trust that. Don’t force it, out of curiosity or frustration. It might provide a polished skeleton key, but someone came long before you arrived and said, “Here and no further.” Trust that. Move on for your own safety.
The house on 2018 Winding Way Street will be filled with so many doors to chose from. No matter what your opinion or perspective may be, or where it has led you thus far, this is a new, uncharted house. Stop and ask the designer of this house for wisdom. There can be joy in the exploration. In the end, if guided wisely and choices are based on solid thought and analysis, you will discover it mixes well with fuel for the race.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” – Jesus – Matthew 7:7 (NLT)