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© Copyright 2014 Kathryn Dunn | All Rights Reserved
8th of January

Windows


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Windows are fascinating. They draw the eye, center the attention, and orient the body.  They invite observation:  what’s inside, what’s outside; what’s solid, what’s open space; what’s still …and what’s moving?

The glass itself has a texture – sometimes literal wrinkles, and occasionally substances embedded in it. There are declensions of “mist” that form on the panes over time, and a silken invisibility when the glass has been rubbed clean on both sides.

Beautiful as they are as their literal selves, windows leap to metaphor at the slightest nudge.  Try it. Choose a window, any window…  describe it without using the word window.  See what happens.

As words emerge,  sensation and memory tend to slip in.  A person  …a place  …a situation begins to dance between the lines. Things shift. And now the writing, itself, has become a window – to new perspectives and new insights that have eluded us …until now.

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The word Window comes from Wind Eye – an Old Norse term.  …Which leads to Scandinavia,  and Vikings, and the 1300’s – another pathway into writing.

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Windows lead to stories:

In Ireland in the 1700’s, the land-owners decided to build up their coffers by levying a tax on windows. The tenants who worked the land lived in small, stone houses, and had precious little to eat as it was – leave alone any extra for additional taxes.  So they piled stones into the opening that served as a window,  and then cut their door in half: a top and a bottom.  In the daytime, they opened the top half to bring in light and air, and left the bottom half latched to keep children in, sheep out.

The land-owners were outraged, and proclaimed: “They’re stealing the living daylights out of us!”

….Hence the term.

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And poet Billy Collins opens his poem, Monday”, this way:

The birds are in their trees,

the toast is in the toaster,

and the poets are at their windows….

                          gi

Wherever you are right now, look around: is there a window in sight? What does it look like… ?  What (or who) is on this side; what or who is on the other side…? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a window.  What does it look like…? What does it offer …what does it conceal?

What kinds of objects tend to catch your attention? Which ones invite you to slow down and watch, or listen …or smell? It’s the slowing down that makes writing possible …and it’s important to honor those “distractions.”

gi

Scroll on down and you’ll find a few more windows.  If you click on one of the small, white circles, the picture will stay put so you can look at it longer.  Choose a detail – or let a detail choose you – and begin to write.  Whatever comes to mind, write that down.  Keep the pen or the fingers moving, and see what happens.

And, when you’re ready,  …share it with someone!

 

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–  Main Street Writers  –

Creating a Community of Practice for Writers 

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Main Street Writers


- Writing support for individuals, groups and organizations -

664 Main Street, Suite 60, Amherst MA
&
92 Race Street, Gateway City Arts, Holyoke MA

mainstreetwriters@gmail.com
(413) 221-4652


Main Street Writers


- Writing support for individuals, groups and organizations -

664 Main Street, Suite 60, Amherst MA
&
92 Race Street, Gateway City Arts, Holyoke MA

mainstreetwriters@gmail.com
(413) 221-4652


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