So, late last year I went to Scotland and Ireland for a holiday. Partly because I’ve always wanted to go and partly because I’m obsessed with Outlander the TV series!
Anyways, Scotland is amazing; the scenery is breathtaking and I absolutely love the highlands and the Isle of Sky!
Interestingly, another thing I was also oddly captivated by while we were travelling around Scotland and Ireland, was people’s doors. Yes- you read that correct; I was captivated by doors! There were just so many beautiful, interesting and inspiring doors, that I started taking pictures of them.
My partner thought it was a bit strange that I was taking pictures of doors, but to his (and my) surprise, I’m not the only one; it’s totally a hashtag on Instagram. It’s a not even reserved to just on city- #doorsofedinburgh, or even one country- #doorsofscotland; there is international-level hashtagging going on here- hello, #doorsofinstagram. Check them out- you’ll see what I mean! Clearly doors are just boring in Australia ;)
So, I’m in in the Scottish countryside, looking at some doors that were on buildings originally built in the 1500s, and I start thinking about what it actually means to be a door. Like what does a door actually represent? You know, cause I’m deep like that ;)
And here’s the thoughts running through my mind:
Doors are all about duality- they signify the beginning AND the end of a boundary; they are the gateway from one space/world/designation/area/boundary, to another.
They connect AND they separate spaces; they are welcoming AND they are deterring.
They symbolise potential opportunity AND potential risk.
They help keep you safe AND they lock you out.
They liberate AND imprison.
A door is basically a paradox in a frame. Ambivalence with a knob. Contradiction with a lock.
And I love that. That duality. That balance. That recognition of context. It’s kind of wondrous. Kind of poetic.
I’ve never really stopped to appreciate that duality before because I work in the anti-violence against women sector and in this sector, there is no space for ambivalence. Every door that a survivor walks through in search of help or assistance, must be the right door. There is no room for duality; no space for contradiction; no place for a paradox.There can be no wrong doors. Every door a survivor walks through must represent safety, empathy and connection to resources and services.
And so, although I appreciate poetic metaphors, beautiful architecture, and the Scottish countryside, duality is not a luxury I have time for (except on holidays, of course). I have an obligation to not only ensure that “my door” is safe, but to help others to ensure “their doors” are safe as well, so that they understand the basics of domestic violence and can respond appropriately to survivors.
So…… is your door safe? In the age of digital information, it really doesn’t take too much effort to become better informed. Try our free email course below and see for yourself! Keep your door safe! You never know who might need it.
Hey you! I’m Heidi. I’ve been working in the anti-violence against women sector as an educator, advocate and activist for the past 10 years. I work with survivors and advocates to ensure that their voices are heard in the development of policies, laws and programs, to overcome structural oppression and injustice. I’m a coffee addict and a social justice nerd and I’m here to help you become a sexual violence saboteur and a domestic violence disrupter.