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  • Writer's pictureJaime Pollard-Smith

Window Pane

Now you get to watch her leave out the window

Guess that's why they call it window pane

-Eminem


“You have the nicest window, you know? None of the others can even compete. It's not flashy like the others, or bleary – your window gives off this nice, quiet light.”

-Banana Yoshimoto, The Lake


This weekend I stopped to stare at the windows of a run-down old bungalow in an otherwise gentrified and outrageously expensive part of Charlotte. I was on a long walk with a friend. He is an artist and sees the world in colors, shapes and lines. I am a writer and see the world in metaphors and moods. Often when I point out things I love, he will say, “What you are responding to is….” Then he proceeds to explain the light, the shape, the size, etc. that creates a certain reaction in me. I find it fascinating how he explains the root and scenario that creates a certain mood or feeling. It is an embodiment of presence and attention. 


In this case, he explained that I was drawn to the reflections I saw in the glass. The house’s original windows were single pane true divided lite (that spelling is intentional, but it bothers me). This means each square of the window is a separate piece of glass divided by wood; each with a differing and unique reflection. Most commercially manufactured windows are one large piece of glass with plastic strips created to imitate this original design—with a single reflection. In other words, cheap, fake shortcuts taken with the glass do not produce true light. 


I was responding to the authenticity I saw in that old, broken down home. It was reflecting the truth back to me, not a manipulation. 


If eyes are windows to the soul, isn’t the same true for us as humans? Passersby are drawn to the true light they see in someone. Likewise, we can pass by millions of carbon copy soulless windows created as imitations, and there is no pull. 


I am learning to be a truth seeker in all areas of my life. I am drawn to authentic people living in alignment with their true self. Like with the old bungalow, I can’t always identify what pulls me to them, call it energy/vibes/warmth, but my body reacts and recognizes the safety. 


My hope is that I am also radiating a trueness. Too many of my years were spent creating a life with perfect curb appeal. Would outsiders oohh and ahhh at my idyllic veneer? Perhaps. But the reflection was a mirage. The true light was buried. As Mom used to sing with me in children's church, “Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine.” 


I am grateful for mindfulness and the ability to cultivate awareness in my life. Yes, I frequently cringe at my past life and decisions (hello, Facebook status updates in third person), but I also take that moment to pause in gratitude. That moment wasn’t my home; I was just passing through. 


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