The View from in Here

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Windows, a piece of glass set in a frame—usually made out of wood, metal, or a synthetic material—are our portals to the outside world. Some are large, beautiful pieces of artwork with intricate detail and color that do not look into the world outside, but another world completely, while others are bared and ugly, serving as reminders of one’s lack of freedom. Windows are often treasured. Bay windows and sunrooms are places of comfort, joy, and relaxation. At other times, especially sunrise when one’s window looks to the east, windows are loathed, detested, and despised. Regardless of their form or elicited emotions though, all windows share a common purpose: to expose one to the world and expand one’s situation.

Without windows, what would your Sunday afternoons look like? Mine would be sad, or at least sadder than they currently are. My Sundays are dedicated to homework, because I can’t seem to find the motivation to do it on Saturday. So every Sunday I find myself sitting on my bed, laptop lit up in front of me, textbook to the right and my snack of choice to the left and I stare ahead. My Sundays are, to put it simply, dull and predictable. Windows though, take me away from the predictable monotony of my day. Out of windows, there is always something to see. Even it’s the same view day after day, there’s something to appreciate about a world you are not directly a part of. In it, there are people you don’t know, doing things you’ll never get to experience, taking journeys of which you’ll never know the destination. That view offers an experience you can only imagine and so pulls you from the boredom you might feel into a world that, though you’ve seen it many times, has infinitely more possibilities than your current place, whether it be the cell you’re legally confined to, the desk in the tiny classroom, or the dorm room.

Windows also expose you to the changes that take place outside of the bubble that you might becomes engrossed in from time to time. Windows are a reminder that the world around you is moving forward while you sit in an uninterested trance. They let in the light that shows the passing of time. The sun, content with its consistent control over planetary motion, laughs as it slowly moves from one side of the expansive sky to the other. The knowledge of time it gives you seems as if it’s enough to snap you into action but, alas, it is not. Clouds lazily float by and the world continues spinning while you sit, stand, lay in front of the window, passively ignoring the work at hand to watch the world move.

Windows can be and are beautiful, imposing, transparent barriers trapping one in one’s current situation. They’re power of suggestion makes boredom extraordinarily intolerable because it gives way to a type of jealousy and procrastination recognition. Windows illustrate that boredom is born of knowledge of the world around us. With an understanding of what we could be doing, and what other people might be doing, we lose ourselves to imagination and craved situations.

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