The Lives We Live

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
– Flora Whittemore


Maimana, Afghanistan

Since the beginning of time, doors have
symbolized both great opportunities and thwarted dreams.


Varanasi, India

Morocco-10024; 00541_07; Morocco; 03/1988


The open door is a metaphor for new life, a passage
from one stage of life to another, and metamorphosis.
Closed doors represent rejection and exclusion.



The Door
Too little has been said
Of the door,
its one face turned to the night’s
and its other
To the shift and glisten of firelight.


Bamiyan, Afghanistan

For doors are both frame and monument
To our spent time,
And too little
Has been said of our
coming through and leaving by them.
– Charles Tomlinson







A door just opened on a street–
I, lost, was passing by–
An instant’s width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by,–
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.
– Emily Dickinson


Kabul, Afghanistan


Mingun Pagoda, near Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar


West Kabul, Afghanistan




Los Angeles, United States

The door swings open:
O god of hinges,
god of long voyages,
you have kept faith.
It’s dark in there.
You confine yourself to the darkness
You step in.
The door swings closed.
– Margaret Atwood


Kabul, Afghanistan


Bamiyan, Afghanistan


Bombay/Mumbai, India


Kabul, Afghanistan


Dhaka, Bangladesh


Monastery at Rolous, Cambodia



The Door

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden, or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye, or the picture of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if nothing is there,
go and open the door.

At least there’ll be a draught.
– Miroslav Holub
translated from the Czech by Ian Milner





The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and
comfort – the opening, terror.
Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing –
the opening a wonderfully joyous moment.
– Andy Rooney

61 Responses to “The Lives We Live”

  1. simple and stunning photos.very inspiring.

  2. Front Doors Says:

    When one door close another opens. Like you say the door is a symbol of change. I enjoyed looking at your photos – very emotive. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Tommy O'Doherty Ireland Says:

    Love your work, saw your exibition in Girona Spain last week and was so impressed we returned twice. keep up the amazing work

  4. Wow your Afghanistan pictures capture the type of beauty that a lot of people either do not see or don’t remember. Your quotes are also very meaningful and profound. Great job and thanks for sharing your perspective of the world with us:-)

  5. Wow, your work gives me an idea!!!

  6. great works… very love your works,, thanks for share

  7. I go throught a door each time I enter this place. So I have the chance to know other worlds. Love it. Thanks, master.

  8. Wonderful, as your work always is!

  9. Beautiful and profound. Both the pictures and words carry such intense meaning. Soulful indeed…

  10. simply wonderful…..and the words with them…very profound!!

  11. Amazing !!!

  12. Amazing, outstanding photos, with words carefully chosen. A visit to your blog is a gift from heaven:)

  13. Unbelievable powerful photography and loved all that text that put deep meaning into life!

  14. Joao Lucas Says:

    Muito bom!!

  15. Reblogged this on Camera Works and commented:
    Steve McCurry takes amazing photos

  16. Laila Nahar Says:

    Outstanding work! No boundaries.
    I had some photos on doors/entrance; I would share my humble thoughts:

  17. Once again, just stunning, Steve! What I love about your pictures is they give one a taste of the country they are taken in. I really like how you put them in themes as well. Very impacting!

  18. Perfect Rooney quote…

  19. Not just another pretty blog with pretty pictures…I like encountering depth like the coolness in a cave (without doors) in the jungle…

  20. antonio nunes Says:

    How great images can be when taken by someone with such a tremendous perception of poetry that permeates the simplest of things. Simply marvelous the way you transmit your emotions about life in its most down to earth moments sharing them with us in such a vivid way.
    Always bewildered by them!!!!

  21. These are such amazing and insightful photographs. It’s so wonderful you share a view of the world most of us will never see or experience for ourselves.

  22. Stunning photos as we always expect from you. Such wonderfully deep colours and eye catching compositions.

  23. What a great post and how Utterly random

    I recently wrote a piece on doors but from a completely different perspective

    great pics by the way

  24. Thank you for such fascinating and inspiring work.

  25. Beautiful and inspiring.

  26. Beautifully put together.

  27. […] as much as me you cannot fail to admire the stunning images of National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. It is a visual delight! Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditTumblrLike this:LikeBe the […]

  28. Reblogged this on c r é é e and commented:

  29. What a continuous source of inspiration – to live, see, travel and learn – your images are! THANK YOU!

  30. Great work Steve…..

  31. Thanks for sharing these great images

  32. […] In a strange act of coincidence, a recent post on the blog of legendary photographer Steve McCurry is related to this topic. I would strongly recommend taking a look at the photographs here – The Lives We Live […]

  33. Anonymous Says:

    without words only..
    Go and open the door.
    Even if there’s only
    the darkness ticking,
    even if there’s only
    the hollow wind,
    even if nothing is there,
    go and open the door.

  34. Heike Bill Says:

    There are things that are known and things that are unknown. And in between them are doors…
    Jim Morrison

  35. Thank you for showing your photos, very good, continue with this

  36. love you work… outstanding

  37. I’m a fan o.O

  38. Reblogged this on kelvinhanratty and commented:
    The door, something so simple conversely provides such metaphorical complexity …

  39. José Correia Says:

    Nice pics and words, thanks!,

  40. this one post consumed whole lot of me. I will have to revisit it again, for now I am just overwhelmed.

    Thanks for sharing Steve!


  41. Never seen most of images before. Thanks for posting

  42. Anonymous Says:

    Profound images, each one a story that intrigues me to hear more, to learn more. Thank you for your insightful work.

  43. Kaushal Kumar Singh Says:

    Amazing, doors communicating with us through your eyes !!!! Always beautiful.

  44. Anita Nichols Says:

    Huh, How about that!

  45. Reblogged this on Jenny's Serendipity and commented:
    Always love Steve McCurry’s photos..the pictures of open doors are very thought provoking and made me think….Amazing photos!

  46. my heart was beating fast as I went along the pictures and the narration. Inspirational. thank you.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    thank you for sharing and inspiring.

  48. your picturesque epitaph on doors/windows open up many doors of my mind. truly class

  49. Thank you for sharing the world….Made me think post..

  50. francesca Says:

    Amazing! i’m always without words for your works!

  51. michelle maclachlan wallace Says:

    Very thought provoking. What can be said that hasn’t been said about the brillance of Steve’s work, but the courage it takes to choose this life is also impressed upon me. Thank you for presenting the lives of many to our screens and for such inspiration.

  52. Love your photos and the chance to view the world through your lens. Thanks for sharing!

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