Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tuesday Musings - Windows

I have always loved windows.  Their function is essential.  Here, on this side of the invention of Electricity, they are sometimes the only source of much needed natural light in our days.  Those sweet, warm rays of 'real' light have an amazing way of soothing our souls. Even more than their function though, I am taken with their form.  When Brian and I were visiting Boston, I obsessively photographed nearly a hundred windows - mostly old, ratty distressed one - some with broken hinges and crooked shutters - those were my favorite.  But even the windows on the newer buildings were so rich in character, typical of the New England style.  Both in my house and here in Bellybou' there are old window frames hanging on walls.  They have such a presence.  But more than both form and function, what draws me to these ancient architectural staples is their rich symbolism.  Cliche though it may be, the window is a universal representation of vision, view, perspective and the existence of life outside of ourselves.
Growing up, I lived at the end of a rarely frequented cul-du-sac.  My bedroom window faced the front of the house and thus I had a perfect view of the street, often barren except for the occasional neighbor coming home or lost driver needing to turn around.  The stillness outside my window was my solace.  At night, when it was most quiet, I would stare out into the nothingness, the view was so familiar and unchanging it seemed to disappear and became a blank canvas for whatever mental pictures my mind was drawing forth.  I cant even begin to try and number the life altering decisions that were made while starting through that 4x6 piece of glass but they were many, that's for sure.  That window was covered in real wooden louvered shutters (which have since been taken down and now serve as inventory displays in Bellybou').  The sound of their opening and closing is so nostalgic.  To this day it instantly takes me back to my days on wonder, when contemplations about life and the universe ran wild in my mind and possibilities for the future seemed limitless.  My spot just inside that window is a truly sweet one.  I will never forget it.
Despite having lived in a myriad of different places, all fashioned with some amount of windows, there has yet to be a window as significant as the one I just described. Until now.  As I was perusing Facebook (I embarrassingly admit that I do that from time to time), I stumbled across these photos and I was struck by the instant realization of the significance of this window.  And though I am presently hoping, praying with all faith and fervor to escape detention from behind its view, it has already left its mark of significance on my life.  I have spent an approximated 2850 hours behind this window and during the course of that time have experienced full spectrum of my emotional repertoire.  I have wept achingly, rejoiced with jubilation, raged with fury - and everything in between.  I have lived a lot of life from this view, decided on a lot of things like what to name my child and to teach my children at home (I may not have been able to make that decision had I not had this chance to be away from home for a time).  Regardless of how I will ultimately characterize the summation of my time here, the fact is that this window's view, the perspective with which I see the world from here - and all of the thoughts and feelings that go along with that, have made lasting impressions on my life.
So, I celebrate this window.  And all the windows that have ever shaped my view of life by providing me with a backdrop on which to think and ponder and dream and change and grow and cry and work and rest.
I am happy to have these photos to commemorate its creation.  Little did I know then what this 18'x10' wall of glass would mean to me.

No glass yet. Just frame.  We would walk right through them.

Coming along.

Hiding what's inside.

There she is.  I like looking through the other way - a view I rarely have
except on my usual mad dash to get inside on time.

Are there meaningful windows from your past or present?  What significance do they hold?

Until next time.......

1 comment:

The Hollemans said...

I never have enough time to compose my thoughts in response to your beautiful blog posts but this one is easy for me: the skylight over the bed in my childhood bedroom- I was in that room from early baby till my junior year of high school when I moved to a downstairs bedroom and the view of the trees that grew up and over our house has, except for slowly filling up the window, not changed AT ALL. I could draw you the outline of the shape that the trees make. My sister and I shared that bed for many years and stayed up most nights laughing, singing and talking. Now when I go home, my husband and I share that bed...totally different life but exact same view from my bed- and it brings me so much comfort :)