windowsill

tonight when i got home from picking up the boys, leo stepped over into our neighbor’s yard and peeped up into their front window. “what is she watching on tv? oh, i see their christmas tree,” he said up on tiptoes, fingertips on the windowsill before i scolded him away.

“it’s not polite to look in other people’s windows,” i said.

since then, i’ve been thinking a lot about windows — from outside in or inside out — everything that they obscure and crop out but also everything they reveal and bring into focus. every day i sit at my computer in the very same place, at my very same desk, with the very same view from one small piece of the world to another. what is being cropped out? what is being revealed? what will i miss sitting there every day? what will i discover?

i could tell you the answers to these questions, but then we’re not talking about windows anymore, are we? and it’s no longer as simple a notion as i hoped it would be. or maybe it’s too simple, trite really. a discussion about the meaning of life made meaningless by words. and this is where i struggle lately with writing. if it’s not done well, it can really muck up a good moment. a moment better left unsaid.

if you looked in the window of my mind right now, you would see a woman crumpling up another piece of paper and tossing it in a pile with all the rest. but it’s not polite to look in other people’s windows.

4 comments

  1. Pravina Studio · January 6, 2011

    One of my guilty pleasures is getting a glimpse into how people have decorated their homes while taking a stroll around the neighborhood after dark. If I’m still on the sidewalk, it’s not intrusive, right? ;)

  2. molly · January 7, 2011

    i had to stop myself from looking in a neighbor’s window tonight as my son and i walked through the neighborhood. i saw movement and didn’t want to get caught. i’d love to look freely. i’m ok with the partial view. i recently found out that my grandma, when her children were young, used to like going on evening drives through neighborhoods so she could look through the windows. i love her.

  3. sheri · January 7, 2011

    ha! i do the same thing. and pssst, it doesn’t count as intrusive. :)

  4. Rachael Levy · January 8, 2011

    I liked the peek inside your mind, with the rejected drafts littering the floor. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve been trying to come up with a daily writing routine and found two sites helpful because they, too, offer glimpses into the creative process: Daily Routines looks at the habits of writers, artists and other interesting people, and Writers’ Rooms is a newspaper series that provided portraits of where they work. Here are the links:

    http://dailyroutines.typepad.com/daily_routines/
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/series/writersrooms

    Anyway, just wanted to share. Happy scribblings!

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