The Place of Welcome
The Tavern is what Asher calls a “construct”, a virtual space in the mind, the architecture of which corresponds to and summarized a particular way of thinking. The Tavern is a hypothetical construct, and the most recent one of all. Asher sometimes calls it “The Place of Welcome”.
The tavern is a place where no one is automatically turned away, and all are accepted, initially, as they are. It is a social construct, from which no one is shut out because of who they are or how we feel about them. Not because they’re different or unusual and not because we don’t like them. The Tavern is a public place and a social place. It’s diverse. In the Tavern, you don’t have to like or converse with everyone, but you do have to let them in. You can’t build your own personal brick wall.
The builders of the Tavern are also well aware of its mythic and literary significance. What does one find in theWoods along the Path of fairytales and fantasies? Taverns feature prominently in the human psyche. The Tavern could have been built as a diner, or something else. It just wasn’t.
Welcome is the very architecture of this social construct.
Another word for welcome is tolerance. The Tavern is built on an ethos of openness. Social prejudice, personal distaste, and prejudgment of character just doesn’t work in the Tavern. You can have those attitudes, but you can’t preclude people one way or another. The Tavern is open to anyone who upholds its rules – namely make everyone else welcome. The Tavern is also built on the insistence that personal change is possible. Someone’s previous track record (e.g. uncivilized behavior) doesn’t change their welcome in the Tavern the next time. If they blow it one day, they know that each day the door is opened anew. As with all constructs, the architecture contains and expresses the rules.
The Doorkeepers’ Discipline
The Doorkeepers have the job of ensuring that anyone who wishes to come in will be welcomed. Essentially the welcome wagon, they have committed to remain in the Tavern during all social situations, maintain the state of welcome, and observe comings and goings. They can also explain the architecture of the Tavern to anyone who is interested.
While the doorkeepers sometimes playfully accuse one another of signing up to avoid going home, their commitment to the Tavern has actually caused them to invent multiple ways of making it portable, much to the scandal of people at the local diner, where they often go to eat, along with enough of a crowd to start a riot.