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Chapter 27

The walls of my living room are also doors, dark wooden doors with visible grain.  Although cut and aged, these doors can always lead to a new room.

Once a tree has been felled, or an animal killed, the woodcutter, the butcher, the artist goes to work to bring the dead into the human realm.  The surface of this planet is writhing with those who would decompose and eat the newly dead, quickly turning them into a storehouse for life. And so, the artist must hurry to avoid rot.  His workshop is a place of knives for slicing, peeling back, and revealing.  Sliced pieces hang about.   Straight regular cuts contrast with serpentine vascular curves, grain in wood and flesh.  To become a part of a human home or a human body a creature must pass through this process of transition; it's grain is revealed.  The butcher shop and the woodworker's shop are two places where creatures are turned into art.

I watch the walls of my living room now, dark and swirling with grain.  Each panel is a woodcutter's painting.  Together the panels create doors and a ceiling.  The doors, some open now, some closed, become walls and a room.  Combined with the woven reed mats, cushions, and table, these parts become a room.  To eat here is to experience the harmony of many voices. 

When our actions ring among a chorus of changing voices, daily activity becomes entertainment.  Long ago, some fellow realized that people could derive this satisfaction of interaction through buying new things.  Stores were collected, shops were designed.  Eventually every human need was met by an ever changing world of brilliant objects.  Products were even created to quickly become useless so as to encourage more buying, and hence, more entertainment, more enjoyment.

Yet, the old doors, stained and smooth by a century of hands, can also be entertaining.  Cleaning the doors, I interpret the lines and grain in the current context of the room.  The story can replayed a dozen times.  It was played a thousand times before I arrived. 

Many people have come and gone from this place, their thoughts and words filling the air between the old doors. Each time, in their opening and closing, the doors lead to a different room. 

I will tire from this game when I no longer realize I am in a different room.  Only when I am tricked, by similarity or in-attentiveness, into thinking that I have been here before, will the room not be remade.  Then, I will come back to walls and closed doors, silent and old.