Derek Sivers

Doors and windows and what’s real


Like everyone, I live in a little house with many doors and windows.

One door goes out to my neighborhood. The local kids come to play with my dog. The elderly neighbors take so long to tell me their stories. I slow down my inner clock to listen.

One window looks out at the nature around me. I’m getting to know this one tree really well. I toss a little dog food out there each day, and watch the local birds and rodents come by to eat it.

One door is just for my son. This door goes somewhere new every time he opens it. I pause what I’m doing and follow him on an adventure. My inner clock stops working through that door.

One door goes to my connections — the people around the world with mutual interests. A dozen people a day knock on this door and say hello. Sometimes more.

One hidden door is for my dearest friends. That one comes all the way inside, anytime.

One skylight looks far into the future. I daydream there a lot.

One little locket looks at the past. I daydream there, too.

But one door is really no fun to open. Whenever I do, I’m horrified at all the shouting. It’s an infinite dark room filled with psychologically tortured people, trying to get attention. Strangers screaming at strangers, starting fights. Businesses put windows there, showing bad things said and done today, because they make money when people get mad.

They say I’m supposed to open that door, because that’s the real world.

But it seems a lot less real than what’s in the other doors and windows in my life.

doors and windows
“Watching the World Go By” photo by Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie