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Warmth and Windowpanes.

November 21, 2008

I find myself distracted by windowpanes when I pass by houses at night. I realize when driving, that sounds like a dangerous habit and overall, it has a faint aroma of stalker. However, that is not my intention.

I have always been fascinated by the little things that make up the simplicity of peoples’ every day lives and what they say about someone. Those lit windowpanes are fleeting, momentary snapshots of the spectacle of the everyday and despite their brief life, they say so much. You see families, dogs curled up on couches, TVs on, books open, food being eaten, hugs being shared, fires in fireplaces and the reckless smiles of laughter. Even when it’s pain, it’s beautiful because it’s real.

I think that is what instinctively draws me to writing — not to capture the glamorous or the exotic, but to revel and bathe in the simplistic beauty of life. I think perhaps that’s why I have always had a sentimental attachment to places like airports and train stations. It’s such a mundane thing, to travel from one point to another, but to my mind, it is like a book, waiting to be written, waiting to be read.

I remember when I studied abroad in college, I took a creative writing class at the university I studied at. We had one day where we were supposed to bring in the first draft of an assignment we had, and I was very excited. I had worked hard on a story about someone sitting in a train station and the lives and stories she created in her head about all the people who she saw. I get to class only to find out that apparently in England, “bring your first draft” means “bring your first draft if you feel like it or have it finished…maybe.” Needless to say, me and one other person were the only ones who had material to share. So my professor (or “tutor” as she was called there) asked if someone would read my story aloud to the class. Though it might sound odd (since I do have this blog and it IS open to anyone), I get really nervous sharing what I write with people and the whole time this girl was reading my story, I stared at my desk with scarlet cheeks and my chest slowly filling with dread. These people were creative writing majors, for heaven’s sake — I was just some lowly, weird American with a PR major and possibly no talent.

She finished reading.
No one said anything.
My tutor then cleared her throat and said, “Would anyone like to comment or ask a question, or are you all still in awe?”

I walked home with a lifted head and proud smile that day — I felt accepted in some small way, like even though my degree would say “Integrative Public Relations,” it would read underneath that, in tiny letters, “Creative Writing and English major at heart.”

I’m not sure how I jumped from windowpanes to England, but in any case, I have always found that my best writing always comes from a place of simplicity. I think perhaps because that’s where I see God the most — I’d rather see Him curled up around fireplaces and lighted in windowpanes, than pounding down out of pipe organs or shining through stained glass.

There was a movie called “Stigmata” that my friend made me watch in high school one time — I don’t really remember if the movie itself was interesting or any good, but I have always remembered one line from it very clearly:

“The Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood… and I am there, lift a stone… and you will find Me.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Glo permalink
    November 22, 2008 9:10 am

    Thank you for the reminder 🙂
    This was worth it.
    It came at a good time, because I resolved to start writing again today, small world for sure!

    Love love love
    Glo

  2. Caroline permalink*
    November 22, 2008 2:20 pm

    Writing is good. I find it hard, frustrating and most of what I write initially is awful and needs to be edited and altered. But that’s what makes it good — you WORK for it. It doesn’t just, POOF, pop out in perfect form. It’s flawed, messy, nonsensical…and fantastic.

    Love love love love love and more.

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