Looking out the window of my office, just above my computer screen, I can see five sets of windows. There are two on the house immediately next door and three on a house behind them and over one lot. With very little effort my window can be seen from all five sets of windows as well.
There are shear curtains on the windows next door. The screen on one window is bent at the top. The window is open and the curtain moves ever so slightly when the breeze pushes against it. Looking directly out that window I’m guessing they have a view of the common wooden fence that separates our properties and of our cherry tree stretching 20 feet into the sky. Not bad as suburban views go. The other window next door is on the second floor and other than a clear view of my roof I’m not sure what they can see. I’m guessing it’s the blank side of the house on the other side of us.
The TED talk I mentioned yesterday has really gotten me thinking about perspective and just how limiting it is. I think I know what the view is from my neighbor’s house because I know what my view is and I have a general understanding of the neighborhood. But it’s all speculation. Sure I have some facts. But do I see it the way my neighbor does? No. I cannot see through the eyes of the 80 year old Russian woman who has lived in that house for the past 30 years. She’s seen that cherry tree planted and grow. I am the fourth neighbor to live in this house, while she is the original owner of her home.
Our windows face each other. We have lived side by side for 10 years. I couldn’t tell you her last name. I don’t know her story. But it’s so easy to think I know what she sees. I think I need to wash my windows.