The inspiration for this spread came from a couple of sources. I was watching a TV show in which a choir was singing that old “Do-Re-Mi” song from The Sound of Music film (not the rap song of the same name). (“Doe, a deer, a female deer,” etc. Don’t ask.) I got thinking about the bromide “learning your do-re-mi’s,” which refers to mastering the basics of a subject. I decided to create a spread that captures the fundamental dimensions of any problem-solving situation: the central conflict, that which compels us to act; our hopes for a positive outcome; our present circumstances; those things that directly help or hinder us in resolving the dilemma; the personal opportunities and setbacks that confront us along the way; and the “breakthrough” event (whether good, bad or mixed) that eventually dissolves the deadlock.
Then I moved on to the lyrics of the Doors song, “Break on Through (to the Other Side),” with its allusion to escape from adversity (although, knowing Morrison, it might have been purely sexual), which in turn led to the title of the spread and the notion of a “gate” as the way out, with its complement of “gatekeepers.”.
“The gate is straight
Deep and wide
Break on through to the other side”