You look out. I look in
I look out. You look in
I do a lot of driving and I pass by many buildings. Sometimes I look at their windows … and wonder. There are people behind those windows – making breakfast, having meetings, serving customers, sitting on the couch with their precious ones. Folks who are really just like me, all of us yearning to love and be loved; to do well at something; to gather some creature comforts; and to have an impact, perhaps beyond our lifetimes. At night, I often peer in at these lives and see those human beings moving around, or maybe sitting still. And it’s like they’re friends.
At home on Hallowe’en, I turn the light out in our computer room and watch the kids coming up the driveway, all fancied up as storybook princesses or the latest superheroes. What are your lives like, young ones? Thank you for coming to my door.
Just as I’m looking, so are you. What do you see inside that man who’s driving a Honda CRV named Hugo? Or that scary guy dressed up for his trick-or-treaters? Do you get a glimpse of what’s within? I hope so.
I remember a bed and breakfast that Jody and I stayed at, near Bayfield, Ontario. We were on the second floor of a century home, and I got to sit on the window seat, watching the breeze riffle through the tree outside, and lifting my eyes to the field of grain across the way. Cozy. And I was a part of what I beheld.
More recently, I was in an office on the 14th floor of a London skyscaper, gazing out of floor-to-ceiling windows to the sweep of the city below. Functional conference room furniture. Far less cozy but still there was a reaching out.
On our home road (Bostwick Road, that is), I love waving to the cars approaching. Sometimes people wave back, and that contact feels good. Often though, the oncoming tinted glass masks any trace of humanity. I don’t wave, and that makes me feel sad.
The Retreat Center at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts was formerly a Christian venue, perhaps a convent. In the room leading to the meditation hall, there’s a large stained glass window depicting the disciple John, with his arm around Jesus’ shoulder and his head tucked in close to Jesus’ neck. The look on John’s face is of absolute love. I’ve lingered many a time before this scene. There’s no seeing through the glass, but there is a seeing.
Windows all, holding the secrets of our multicoloured lives. May we continue to look.