Wednesday, May 31, 2006


This may creep some of you out, but there is something that I find fascinating. I may have this strange interest perhaps because I am an anthropologist (or maybe I am an anthropologist because things like this interest me). The reason I write about it is because I thought about it today as I walked the dogs through the warm but cooling summer evening.

As the dogs and I made our way through our quiet neighborhood, lights flickered and shone through the windows of the homes and apartments we passed. Voices, music, baseball announcers, the barking and yapping of dogs, and children's laughs all escaped out of the recently opened windows that only recently were sealed tight to keep the winter's chill out. It was all very soothing and pleasant.

My confession is that I enjoy the glimpses, sounds, and aromas I catch through the openings of people's homes - especially those that eminate in the evenings, summer evenings. Not that I am looking for anything in particular. I am drawn to the moment that my eyes catch; it is an instance that is mundane, but unique. A snapshot of life, someone's life that has a past, present, and future for them. For me, however, that is all that will exist. That particular moment, that particular event. I take it in. Sometimes I construct my imaginary context. I create the past that led up to that point and I extrapolate the future - all fictitious of course. Other times I just let the glimpse float away as quickly as it came to me. I admire the architecture or the decor. I take in the plant life or animals that happen to show up at the window at that moment. I occasionally think back to other windows that have shared their worlds with me. I recall the wonderful frescos on ceilings in Italy or the wooden beams in the rooms in Sweden. The scent of spices and fragant cooking in Mexico and Thailand come back to me.

It is amazing how many unique little worlds there are.

Yes, this is one of my guilty pleasures. I admit it.

Now you know, if this bothers you and you know I am in town - close your blinds.

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