Windows

Think of all the windows you’ve ever seen.

Funny things windows; they’re there but I seldom notice.  Windows let in light.  They keep out bugs and burglars–and the wind.

There are big picture windows that sit on hills and look out across meadows and creeks and oceans.  There are tiny widows with wood frames painted shut, windows that look up at brick walls, or down on rooftops with vent pipes and pigeon droppings.

Some skyscrapers are nothing but windows.  Other building have no windows at all.  There’s something wrong with a building that doesn’t have windows, something suffocating, even sinister.  I don’t trust buildings that don’t have windows.

Some windows have been painted over.  I wonder about that.  Why would you go to the trouble of installing a window and then paint it?  I suppose the fellow who installed it was not the one who painted it.  Then there was something to see, now there’s not–or there’s something to hide.

Whoever designed our house had no imagination at all–or didn’t care.  The big window faces the side of the neighbor’s house.  It’s a nice house but not something you sit and admire, like a Mount Hood sunrise or a Pacific City sunset.  The fireplace is where our picture window should be, looking at Karen’s garden.

I like windows.  They keep me in touch with the word.

I remember the old Moxim Hotel in Salt Lake City over seventy years ago.  The best windows were up front right above the street, great tall windows.  At night in summer Daddy would leave the windows  open and a soft carnival light from the hotel sign would fill the ten-foot ceiling.  I’d lie awake and listen to sounds of the street: car tires, horns, shoes on pavement, voices.  I’d eavesdrop.

Today I stay in much nicer, much more expensive motels with vinyl framed windows and air conditioning so you don’t have to open the windows and drapes because there’s nothing to see outside, except cars in a parking lot.

There was something special about lying awake at night with the windows open in the old Moxim Hotel in Salt Lake City over seventy years ago.  Something magic.  Something extremely important I’d lost.  Now, age eighty one, I remember what it was.

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