William Safire

Wed Dec 20 17:31:26 UTC 2000

We have been batting this one around lately:

He: I believe there's a proverb that goes something like: If
one door closes, open another.  And if the proverb doesn't exist,
it should.  I remember it (from "The Sound of Music" and other
authoritative sources) as something along the lines of "Whenever God
(or probably something more like "the Good Lord") closes a door, He
opens a window."

She:  C'mon, Larry, admit that you watched "The Sound of Music" (for
the umpteenth time) again last night!  Indeed, the phrase was spoken
twice in the movie (yes, I watched it too--sniff, sniff).

Me:  I saw The Sound of Music when it played Boston in tryout, before
it went to Broadway, and not since.  (I have gone on the "Sound of
Music" tour in Vienna, because it somehow seemed like a good idea at
the time.)  So I don't remember the phrase.  Is it meant to be
cynical: If the Good Lord closes a door, he opens a window for you to
jump out of, and puts it at a sufficient height to serve the purpose?


[Strictly speaking, "He:" (above) should be "They:"

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