Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

Return to Blog–Quiet Panáche

Back alley off of Superior Ave., Alma Michigan


 "Doors in Back Alleys"


Contentment and I are coming to terms these days.


So often I feel like I’m relegated to walking the back alleys of life rather than running through the fields of wildflowers or twirling on the peak of some stunning mountain summit.  “Back Alleys, God?!!!  What’s with this?  Am I paying penance for something?  If so, you better tell me what so I can do business with that and then go run through the fields!”  Often my rants with God go like this.


When I think of back alleys, the words dirty, smelly, dark, dreary, hidden come to mind.  The behind the scenes of real life, not real life itself.  Right?  So why am I here then?  I tell you, I’ve been through some infinitely long back alleys in my day!  Today I sat down in the alley and looked around.  Yep.  Sat down right there in the dried grass along one side.  And looked around me. 


(Train of thought and unspoken chat with God:)


Geez, (I grimace) what a dirty building. Ugh.  Glad I don’t live there.

The brick is kinda cool though.  Brick is so rarely used now. 

(cocking my head, considering) It’s actually kind of beautiful, really...all those colors in just the brick alone...

Wow, look at the blackened area there...must’ve been a fire there at one time. 

Why are there bars on those windows and none on these others?

Yellowed newspaper in one small window.

A teddy bear with one eye sits forgotten on one stoop. many stories behind each of these doors, I bet....

A lot of life, love, joy and sadness, overcoming struggles behind each of these doors,

running up and down these fire escapes....

Kind of a cool thought, now that I notice it.

Love the color of the doors though.... bright new paint, inviting, all of them.

(Waving and saying hello to a delivery guy at one door.) 

Hmmm, wonder what’s in there? His jovial greeting seems to brighten the whole building.

Look at those amazing colors!!  Vibrant purples, plums, burgundy, violet, periwinkle and teals, oooh oranges there!

What a lovely contrast to the neutrals of the surrounding walls!

So many doors to choose from!

Life is like this building. 

Many only choose to see the front polished surface.

I get to experience too the back alley side, and I am richer for it.


OK, SO WHAT, GOD?  What are you trying to tell me then?


  1. 1. Be content with what’s in front of you!  Don’t spend all your time wanting more that you don’t see what you have.

  2. 2. Appreciate & participate in the now the beauty and relationships in your present. Take time to look deep.

  3. 3. Prepare yourself to be ready for when I do show you the door to open.  Take time to LEARN from the stories...

  4. 4. Recognize which door I open to you.  Sometimes what you think you want isn’t really what you need.

  5. 5. Have the courage to ACT when you see where you’re to go.


Suddenly, that back alley looks rather beautiful in so many ways.  I am glad I am here.


All photos and text used in this blog are copyrighted by Author of this website, unless otherwise indicated, and permission is required to use any image or text.

my . artist run website