What is it about stairways? Few inventions (although, arguably, nature thought of them first) are so metaphorical. Say, “Stairway” and people think “to Heaven” before they think of literal stairs. We can’t help but make metaphors out of them. They have to be ascended—evoking a sense of labor, beginnings, mystery, hope. Or descended—evoking a sense of failure, departure, endings, loss. Why? Because life is impermanent, yet we harbor hope. True, there’s a highway to hell. But there’s also a stairway to heaven. We hope.
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