Monday, February 08, 2010

Death's Door

At one of the missions in Goliad, I saw this over the side door of the chapel.

This symbol has come to mean different things in our present culture...poison, for one. Pirates, for another. However, I looked it up and found that is was fairly common in the 1700s for Spanish churches to have such symbols over the door that led from the church to the cemetery. People couldn't read.

When Mom would refer to a friend of hers as being "at Death's Door," she was usually being a bit sarcastic and implying that the person was not as ill as he or she was letting on. I always thought the expression referred to a mythic Death, such as when she said somebody had "one foot in the grave." This latter expression meant just the opposite of the former, as she used it to describe a person who looked very ill, but appeared to be ignoring the fact.

Still, here is a chapel that really has a "Death's Door."

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