The Art of Staring out the Window




What activity could be more of a waste of time than staring out the window. Or, worse, staring at people.  I recently came across this article that puts a new perspective on this activity.



For my basenjis, no indoor activity seems to appeal to them more than staring out the window. It’s not unusual that their stares inspire people to take their photos. I’ve run into many people in the neighborhood who know me as the guy with the two red dogs they enjoy see staring out the window.  With the arrival of daylight savings time, I look forward to being able to have a bit more time after work to watch them watching the great “out there” beyond the window pane.


I find having a traditional San Francisco Bay window to be one of the pleasures of living here, even if it looks out on the flat streets of the Mission, not the actual Bay. In my nearly 20 years at the same address, before going to bed, with all the lights out I will stare out the window for a few moments before turning in.  For some reason I have long been fascinated by the green light from the door across the street. I’m not sure what fascinates me about it, but I find it calming to look at that faint green light outlined by the curving iron lattice work. Gatsby stood at the end of his pier to see the blink green light on Daisy’s pier across the water. I don’t know that I see it as a beacon to some long ago or lost love, but I often let my thoughts drift into the past.  Sometimes I can hear the wind chime in the back yard.  It was on my mother’s front porch from the mid-1970s forward, and I could always hear it tinkling in the background when we spoke on the phone on spring or autumn evening phone calls when the weather was neither too warm or cool.  I find great comfort in the combination of that sound and the green light, a sense of the past not so far away but just across the street or in the back yard.  The departed are departed but not that far away.  If I take a moment to look out the window and stare.


In daylight the same door holds less mystery or fascination for me. But there is comfort in knowing that the green glow will be there in a few hours after the sun takes its rest.


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