July 17, 2009
“Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. ”
Excerpt of a poem by Philip Larkin
An old wooden house in an almost deserted village. A small window under the roof. No one is living there any longer. The curtain is pulled halfway across the opaque glass. Just enough to let in a patch of blue sky. When I pass in front of the sunburnt wooden facade, I look up and imagine life that used to be behind the high window. Was it the bedroom of a large family or a bachelor’s housing ? A room under a corrugated iron roof that must have been too hot in Summer and freezing cold in Winter. The stove was on the groundfloor, no heating upstair.
I imagine the thoughts that flew to the sky as a hand pulled the curtain. Thoughts of other places over the mountains. Desires of leaving the village for a better living. Dreams of knowing more of the world beyond the narrow valley. Or were they thoughts of happiness and comfort to live in the place of one’s roots ? I imagine the confidences swept away by the wind as one opened the high window… Cool mountain air that would refresh old walls and nurture one’s soul. A small high window to let the sunshine in.