Say anything you like, but last Thursday I watched the live broadcast of the announcement of the Nobel prize for literature.
I tuned in about ten minutes before the actual announcement, my first experience of this kind. I quickly figured out that the event was taking place in an old European interior blessed with Marie Antoinette’s cake aesthetic, including a high ceiling, a few chandeliers (no Sia) and off-white rococo walls in gold details. The highlight was a closed door at the back of the room, a beautiful manifestation of a totally unnecessary obstruction. What was behind it?
Several individuals were standing in front of the door, caressing really expensive cameras and occasionally turning to photograph the crowd behind them. The crowd, a relatively older demographic, used their phones to photograph their surroundings. No one was taking selfies, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable - are these people real?
‘Ok, they are waiting for something to come out of the door’, I thought and felt extremely proud for nailing the mystery of this broadcast (The process for the announcement of the Nobel prize is a well known ritual, so now you know not to invite me to trivia nights).
Nothing was actually happening so I started mind-wandering; I thought about people waiting outside closed doors and realised that many important events in our lives involve such a ritual.
My thoughts took me inside a Greek Orthodox church during Easter, when all the pilgrims stand patiently in the nave, holding wax candles, waiting for the priest to emerge from the sanctuary’s door to bless them with the Holy Fire 🕯🕯🕯.
When I was a child, I used to think that the sanctuary door leads to Heaven, and as I turned my attention back to the broadcast, I entertained the fantasy that all these people had gathered at the Swedish Academy to knock on heaven’s door.
‘Feels like I’m knocking on heaven’s door’ I sang to myself as the Academy’s door opened, and a very somber lady emerged to announce that the winner of the Nobel prize for literature was Bob Dylan.