My New Window
“Your desire to be near to window is your desire to be close to life!”
After an exhaustive weekend of packing and moving, I am in my new studio, sitting upon the same old chair, looking out a new window.
The view from my new, second-floor perch is a wash of green. There is a lawn between our front door and the fence, the neighbor beyond it signaled by a peek of a roof through the trees.
Right now, in August, the lawn is vibrant green and growing like a weed. The rose bushes claw skyward, the various decorative grasses are starting to top out with golden seed. In four months, in the throws of the unknown Carolina winters, the view will be quite different. The winters are beyond the scope of the window right now – beyond the frame, a detail to be considered another time.
Windows are essential to the creative process. Any number of novelists and artists have lamented over what they have to offer the world while staring out the window of where they work. Workplaces with windows have happier employees, who yield more creative results. https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/science-explains-why-the-corner-window-seat-is-so-coveted
Every window needs a wall, the walls we put up — the defined barrier between them and us. The window is a reminder – there is a them, others, an existence outside your own. The window is an invitation to move between the two worlds, provide the give and take, and color your own experience with something from elsewhere.
Every window is a frame. A place to determine where one experience stops and another begins. Picture frames define the piece within it, letting you know where the fantasy of the photo ends and the reality of your life begins – or vice versa.
In her book “Bird by Bird” (a writer’s essential, btw) Anne Lammot writes of the "one-inch frame.” When the world seems too big to take on or when a project seems too big to manage, only work on what you can see through a one-inch frame. Even the smallest frames reveal a vast world if you let it.
In my days of field biology with the Boy Scouts of America, our environmental study courses included mapping out every detail within a 12X12 grid. The idea: does life within the grid reflect the ecosystem beyond it? Conservationists observe the behavior of the details to understand the challenges of the world as a whole.
View From The Artist's Window by Martinus Rørbye, that is as much about the view OF the window as is what he sees through it.
There is no window without a wall – the space between them and us. In the wall, a window is the invitation to take in and perceive something new. You allow the protection of glass, the separation of space, but the dialog of influence.
Take a step to the left, and it’s easy to see how windows extend into our ever-present digital space. Every screen is a window. A chance for you to look into the life of another, and for you to share your own experience with another. The bezels around the screens get thinner with every generation, the life you share, and the life that is shared with you is ever more challenging to define.