reflections from the window

it’s not that great a view to shout about - most others would much prefer a sea view, and probably from much higher up - but it’s exactly what i love, and i’m really glad i held out for this, scouting for over a year only to decide on this in a heartbeat on my birthday last year. i love the swathes of uneven green, flat and empty; the forested area, close enough to see but far away enough to not draw mozzies, bugs, snakes and monkeys; the crossroads, just like me, ever at some crucial juncture, in_transit to the next.

but most of all, i love watching that long stretch of highway at all times and moods of the day: on clear days, the vehicles rolling by, as if heading straight into the dunes; on stormy afternoons, under overcast skies, mist and rain, barely visible in the distance; late at nights, that entire stretch, silent, empty, occasionally one car, or two, passing under the warm orange glow of the lampposts at such even intervals, like angels leading them in. and some nights, still, witnessing the streaks of lightning, every now and then, and thinking, there, that’s another moment, gone again, that i failed to catch once more.

this, i think, is my adult version of - and as close as i can ever get now to - my favourite childhood pastime of spending hours staring endlessly into a huge wall poster my dad had bought me, depicting various details of people’s lives and the changing seasons in a little farm in some european countryside. in my room (yes, that room; the poster was against the wall at the head of the bed), i’d zoom in on each small area on the illustrated poster, lie back in bed and close my eyes to picture what was going on in there, what possessions those people had, who they were, their names, their jobs, what they wore, what roles they played… that was why i was over the moon when years later, kid cad and then the sims came along, allowing me for the first time to render into virtual reality so many of the scenes and images and stories in my head.

i’ve ascribed so much meaning to this place…… you know, all the (cheap) art i’ve collected in my lifetime only ever has the subject backfacing the viewer, gazing out into something… out the window of a train, out a room window into the night sky of stars and moon and a jet fleeting by, a vast expanse of ocean, a forest of wolves, a path ahead lined with maple trees, a deserted ghost town, glitzy buildings along the nyc skyline, train tracks leading into the unknown… people seldom notice; even i didn’t notice this about myself until one person who had clearly spent too many hours observing me and my obsessions, pointed this out to me one day not a few years back.

these days, when i travel on that highway, i look up at my windows, and try to catch sight of myself (my imaginary self) gazing out at it towards the highway. feels a little weird, but i guess not really that much different from looking back or forward at yourself at a different time. in this place i now call home, gazing out the windows in the front looks forward into that expanse of many moving parts, colours, landmarks and changing skies; so much happening, so much potential, so many possibilities. looking out the windows at the back, on the other hand, gazes right back into the place from which i came - my parents’ home, where i grew up; a sturdy building, solid coloured, ever present, never changing but for the lights in each unit that go on and off now and then, and the fleeting silhouettes of people, many of whom i know, passing by their windows as they go about the day.

and i, smack in the middle of what lies ahead of me and the past that trails behind, is, as ever, in_transit. as i was 20 years ago when i coined this handle.

so there you have it, reflections(, meaning, and interpretation,) from the window.


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