Portal Perspectives: Weekly Photo Challenge – Door

“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.”

Emily Dickinson

(7 Photos)



Doors…..often symbolic of change or opportunity (which, after all, is supposed to knock, right?!), the lowly door has been calling to artists, photographers, authors and poets since the beginning of time. This week Cheri has challenged us to tell a story through the size, shape, color or texture of those that have caught our eye and our lens. Like Cheri, my archives are full of doors by the dozens – but my first thought was to focus on the character-rich doorways of China. My opening capture is actually the door of a houseboat which was making its lazy way down the Li River. What stories would it tell if only it could speak?



“Knocking on many doors is strength;
knocking on the right doors is wisdom.”

Matshona Dhliwayo

Those who have been following Travels and Trifles for a while have experienced China through my lens several times, but this week’s captures are included for the first time. The stories behind them offer an interesting opportunity for imagination – don’t you just want to close your eyes and see the lives of those inside as they were centuries ago?



 “The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given the door will open.”  


It seems each of the chapters of our lives begins with opening the door to change. Think of the many  you’ve opened in your own life. Can you imagine what would have happened if you’d taken a different path? Then again, it seems each time a door is opened, another is closed. What decisions are you facing today? Will you opt to open the door if it means leaving something important behind? If only we could see the path beyond the door, as in the photo below, it would be much easier to walk through, wouldn’t it?



“Close some doors today. not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.”

Paulo Coelho

Sometimes closing a door is as important as opening one. How many of us have found ourselves in situations long after they’re good for us? A doomed romance, a dead-end job, an unhealthy dependency – have you been there, done that? Somehow I think we all have, and yet we find it difficult to close the door on the known for fear of what awaits us in the unknown. A wise man once told me, there’s no such thing as a bad decision…..you make the decision and then you make it right. I’ve often thought about that as I’ve faced quandaries that involve opening and closing important doors in my life. Perhaps Nike says it best with their – “just do it” campaign!



 “The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.”  

Bertolt Brecht

My husband and I are about to embark on a new chapter, and as always, the door to the unknown is unsettling.  I have always found though that each new chapter brings greater happiness, no matter how content I had been before. Does that mean I’ve been incredibly lucky, or just adaptable? A bit of both I’m sure. I must also admit that some of the doors in my life have opened with the help of a fairly big push from those who have been beside me along the path, including my always adventurous husband – for which I am very grateful.



“There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin.”

Charlie Gordan

As Charlie Gordan says, once a decision’s been made and a door’s been opened, we become impatient to begin. Just as important as moving through the door you’ve chosen though, is pausing for a moment to be sure you’ve captured the essence of the door you’re closing behind. Have you burned the good moments into your memory? Learned the lessons you’ve been taught? Mentally stored the experiences you’ve had? Only when you can answer yes should you turn out the lights, step over the threshold and move on.



“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.”

Saul Bellow

Big or small, literal or symbolic, doors are everywhere. Be open to them, learn to see them not so much for how they look but for what lies behind or in front of them.  Make your choices wisely, but more importantly, make them and move on. Life’s waiting for you on the other side!

A happy 4th to all of my readers in the US. If you’re not out celebrating or watching fireworks, take a moment to open the doors of some other bloggers in the current weekly photo challenge.

98 thoughts on “Portal Perspectives: Weekly Photo Challenge – Door

  1. Nice series.

    New doors, they’re always a challenge because of the unexpected can happen. But, you have to try them from to time. May yours be a good one – I’m sure it will be.

  2. I love your post on so many levels Tina. The beautiful photos and the quotes that go with them but also your thoughts on opening and closing doors. …..”you make the decision and then you make it right”. This has been my philosophy and I have never regretted a decision once made, but oh the agony of deciding is sometimes hard… Best wishes with the new direction and adventure you and your husband are making. I look forward to hearing of it all in good time…

  3. Tina, this beautiful combination of prose and pictures is what makes your posts so special. I am sure the new chapter in your life will open the door to more happiness, joy and lots of love 🙂

  4. Omg what ‘beautiful’ ‘thoughtful’ inspiring words….I got teary eyed!!!
    The doors are sort of mesmerizing … I find myself lost inside of each one….and YES… I do want to know who lives there!!!! A fabulous EYE!!

    • Cheri, thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment. I love your challenges and try hard never to miss them. Thanks for all you do to support the ocmmunity.

  5. Tina you have put into words many of the things I am feeling about leaving Shanghai. A full time job, a familiar routine and good friends…. all for an unknown. However, I am not worried as things always have a way of working out. We need to sometimes take a chance and plunge right in. Maybe I am more adventurous than most, but I like change and variety. This move is not for adventure, but my health. When it is time to go it is not easy, but best. A friend from work shared this quote on my last day at work… “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss I am smiling.

  6. Love the photos; love the quotes and love your insights. Curious about your new chapter…I imagine you’ll experience it to the fullest.

    • Hey Leslee – great to hear from you as always and thanks for the lovely comment. As you may have heard by now, we’ve sold our home and are looking for something much smaller. Stay tuned for updates!!

  7. Great wisdom with these doors, Tina. Metaphorically speaking, in my mind’s eyes, the door is always open especially the door of my heart and mind. I am more drawn to the header of this post. The door is closed yet not bolted. This is very inviting. Have a great new chapter with you and your husband. Perpetua.

    • Thanks so much Perpetua – especially for noticing the header. I love that shot but suspect most who see me in the Reader never get as far as the header! I love the idea of the “always open” door to the heart and mind.

  8. Such a great post Tina. So much to think about and enjoy. Your penultimate paragraph, “Big or small…” is truly memorable and one to be revisited many times. I wonder what lies behind the door that you and your husband will soon be opening? A belated Happy 4th of July to you and your family 🙂

    • Many thanks Andrew I wonder what lies behind the door too – because first we have to FIND the door 🙂 Sold our big house, now hunting for a new, smaller home. Stay tuned !!

      • Now that’s a big step. What about that lovely view from your back porch. You’ll miss it, but no doubt new inspiring vistas will open up to you wherever you go. Best wishes and happy hunting…A

  9. Great door images, and I especially enjoyed your writing as well as the quotes you included for the post. Funny how doors can evoke so much for us human beings.

    • Thanks Lola, yes I agree, they really are thought provoking aren’t they? Many of the responses to this week’s challenge looked at the philosophical side of the equation.

  10. What a lovely post, Tina, and lovely set of images too. It’s interesting to hear you say it’s important to pause once we’ve crossed through a new door in our lives. I think a lot of us forget to do that a lot of the time, either rushing headlong into the next chapter all excited or keeping our head down mourning what we’ve lost. Pausing and reflecting should be every part of our journey as that is what keeps us grounded 🙂

    • Thanks Mabel – yes, it’s the thing that’s really on my mind as we prepare for our move. I want to make sure this place is planted firmly in my memory such that I can call upon it whenever I want to. I’ve done that for all of the major moments in my mind and happily they’re all still there when I need them!

  11. those doors are all beautiful and make one think about opening them again, first to see what’s behind, then because why not?!? 😉

    and since I always appreciate your quotes and I could only think of you first when it came to the Three Quotes Challenge, I have nominated you to participate in a special way:

    Thanks for giving us your insight, 3 days in a row…. (if you wish!)

    • Hey Juls, great to hear from you and many thanks for the lovely complimant AND the nomination. You know how much I love my quotes so count me in. Will give it a try in the next post.

      • you’re welcome for everything! It’s always a pleasure to read you, to see your pictures, to be swept away by your words and every different word you take us to.

        Can’t wait to read new quotes from you or others of your favorites!

  12. I too like the bicycle pic a lot, & also your reflections on opportunities and choices. I do enjoy how the weekly challenge prompts many of us to think about more than just the objects we photograph but also symbolism and meaning & life. Love the quotes from Rumi & Emily Dickinson.

    • Thank you Maamej – yes I agree the challenge does give us a chance to really think a bit more carefully about what we choose to shoot and why. Appreciate your thoughtful comment!

  13. Could agree more with the feeling of seeing a door ~ no matter what stay or style, the stories they could tell I think can be captured by photographers and poets around the world (my sister is a huge ‘door freak’ and has a great library of shots too). The shot of the door with the Bicycle Below is my fav, as it reminds me of my early years in China…and such scenes always captured the essence of the place for me.

    • Thanks randall – didn’t realize your sister was also a photographer. Is she as philosophical as your are as well? I too loved the long-ago feel of that one. So much of that in China if one sees it with open eyes.

      • She is very much an adventurous soul and more extroverted than I, so I think much less philosophical 🙂 Agree, the feel of history and the stories structures (and doors) could tell is part of magic of seeing places like China.

  14. Wise words and wonderful post (yet again), Tina.
    I’m a big fan of photos of doors with their variety of lines, colours and textures.

    China must be a treasure trove with its ancient buildings and doorways. Such an interesting series of images.

    • Thanks very much Vicki – China is indeed an amazing place, especially for a photographer. It has literally everything – ancient sites next door to amazingly modern cities, fantastically warm, shy but friendly people who lived in an incredibly structured society, you name it, you’ll find it there. If nothing else the size of the place is enough to take your breath away!

    • Thanks Jude – I almost made that the featured photo but loved it for the header. Thanks so much for noticing it – sometimes I wonder how many people go past the reader image 😉

      • Well seeing how many likes I get on a post practically immediately it is published I know they haven’t actually read the post as there hasn’t been time! I go by comments. Then you know a person has taken the time to read the post. And I would never pass yours by, I adore your photography. Speaking of which, did you get the new camera?

      • I agree. Also when u get a comment “nice photo” when there are 8 or 9 photos and a story in the post LOL! Haven’t got the camera yet, waiting for the new Sony in the fall which is supposed to be spectacular. Also waiting for the next gen iPhone in the fall which is supposed to seriously improve the camera there. Sigh, if I wait for everything to get better I’ll NEVER get updated😃😃😃

  15. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Tina. Funny you should mention the ‘open door policy.’ A buddy and I were talking, no, grumbling about that at work this week. What ever happened to that policy? All but disappeared at my worksite. Ah, then. Another door will open eventually… Happy Fourth to you!

    • Thanks very much Lois – and yes, the open door policy seems to be a thing of the past. Although I must admit I’m not sure it ever really WAS a policy rather than just a concept poorly implemented!

  16. Some fantastic photographs, Tina, and I love your philosophising on doors opened and closed! Like you, I am experiencing major changes in my life, and I shall hold that thought about no wrong decisions, and making the chosen decision right!

    • Thanks so much Sue – glad you liked the decision-making advice, probably the best I’ve gotten, ever. The second best was from my brother on my 21st birthday. He said I should “never grow all the way up”! I loved that one too😄

      • Hehe….I’ve certainly never grown all the way up, my inner child helps to keep me sane at times! 😀

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