“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

—Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music

“Keep passing the open windows.”

—John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

The Bible and the Buddha aside, sometimes I think that all you really need to know you can learn from Maria von Trapp and John Irving. I was reminded of this recently, after falling into a funk, due to a run of bad luck which included losing my job and my dog. When our beloved Shakespeare died, I wrote a blog about it—and my misery was met with compassion, kindness, and generosity from you all, friends and strangers alike. I thank you truly, deeply, sincerely.

One of you, my dear friend Gina Paniettieri, read the blog and asked me to join Talcott Notch Literary Services. “When can I start?” I asked. “Now,” she answered. Within hours, I was in business.

When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

But escaping through a window is neither as easy nor as direct a path as leaving through the front door. A fall from a window can be fatal. Going from a lifetime of staff positions with big companies paying handsome salaries and benefits to the uncertain glories of a commission-based income requires a leap of faith.

Keep passing the open windows.

Both Ms. Von Trapp and Mr. Irving offer sound advice. But the paradox of life on earth is that we must traverse a world in which both axioms ring true. We must recognize an open window as the escape it is when we see one, remember that jumping is always a risky business, and then take the plunge anyway.

Because life is short, and we need to climb every mountain, even if we are all terminal cases.

Wish me luck!

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