I am a door, covered in blue paint. I was given my current shape by a young man who lived in a village not far from here. He died several years ago at the age of 83, of natural causes. I suppose I thank him for making me what I am, although I suppose I would have also been content to continue to be part of a tree. Δεν πειραζει, I am a door, and there’s no changing that, at least not at the moment. I assume that some day I will no longer be useful in my current state. Maybe I’ll end up as fire wood, maybe I’ll find myself in an abandoned field somewhere, food for the ants and termites. No point in speculating, it will be what it will be.
For now, though…I want to tell you about the old woman who lives inside the yellow walls to which I am attached. Her name is Despina, and she is quite old, older even than I. She was living in this house long before I arrived, along with her husband and three children. I came along some time after their old door had been kicked in by a German soldier after the abduction of General Kreipe in 1944. Although Depina’s village didn’t see the worst of the retribution, her husband was taken away the evening that old door was destroyed, and she never saw him again.
The soldiers left her and her three children to rebuild their lives and their village, alongside their neighbors. They used bright, happy colors to remind themselves that life goes on. Despina’s oldest child, Maria, chose the blue that now covers me. I’ve been repainted several times – the sun, wind and salt from the sea can be very harsh – but each time Despina insisted that I remain the true blue that I am today.
Despina’s children have long since moved away. They still come to see her from time to time, but for the most part Despina spends her days either visiting with the other old women from the village, or reminiscing about the past here, inside her home, while she sits in a chair across the room. More and more, as her eyesight fails her and her body grows weary, she spends her time at home. She looks at me frequently from the inside, and I’m not sure if she’s remembering the day that the soldiers came and took her husband, or if she’s waiting expectantly for a knock that might signal a surprise visit from one of her children. She is comforted by the knowledge that nothing lasts forever. Not paint, not wood, not old women.
Today a gentleman walked by outside, and I whispered to him. He stopped and took a picture of me. Despina perked up for a moment when she heard the footsteps come, then halt. Then they continued on, and she settled back into her chair.
Inspired by the above photo by Clive Birch, who has many other very beautiful photos on his web site (link under "Other Stuff").