• Kaye Curren

What Do You See When You Look Out?

Think about how it feels to have that pane of glass between you and the outside world.

The Glass Wall

I’ve always loved picture windows - the bigger the better. I imagined seeing far into the future - even beyond the trees.

When I was a child, the window looking out of our back yard on Denny Road in Oregon revealed an acre of lawn, a Jonathan apple tree laden with fruit, and a wood of evergreens with an entrance leading to Fanno Creek. There we swung on Tarzan vines and fished for crawdads with bacon and a string. Red primroses on a picket fence bordered the lawn on one side.

I would leave that picture window early in the morning, run out into the yard, sprint to the fence to smell the roses, then leap across the lawn and, without missing a step, pluck a big red apple from the Jonathan tree. From there, I would race into the woods to see what new adventures my brother had cooked up for us.

You’d think looking out picture windows would always bring happy moments. Not always. Staring out my apartment window in Michigan years later, I pondered that my firstborn had just chosen to live in Spain with her new husband, possibly forever; that my second child had decided to live with her father because my curfews were too confining; and that my husband, who had left me some years before, was now removing my livelihood with a self-righteous smile.

I had a lovely picture window in that Michigan place with lawns and trees and a spacious view from the top floor. I had loved to watch my children play on those lawns with their friends. We lived there a happy seven years before my life fell apart.

That picture window became a wall I could not break through.


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