Passage #161: 15 August 2012

Portals for Mortals



Isn't it just a bit odd, this practice of marking civic boundaries with large, free-standing doorways? It is... a bit. Just. There are no walls that require a gateway, nor even any doors for these frames to support, but there they are, marking some notional boundary with their large, purely ornamental presence. Though their formal origins may lie in ancient methods of city fortification, perhaps the very embodiment of exclusion, they are now meant to convey something quite the opposite.

In this age of consumer choice, a gateway is a sign of welcome, an indication that it's time to get *excited* about this place. Nothing exciting is ever entirely free of menace, of course, and even a completely non-functional doorway carries the subtle message that one's passage into this new territory is conditional and may be revoked.

It is also, perhaps, an encouragement to open one's eyes and look around a bit, because upon passing through an invisible barrier, it behooves one to take note of what, precisely, has changed.

This week, we are seeking out the portals and gateways, finding the same old lands made new. In addition to these ever-so-convenient passageways, we will be making use of those harder to negotiate. We know that you would expect nothing less.


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