|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Looking Outside My Window Write Something About What I See
What I see? What I don't see is the blank brick wall of another building just three feet from my office/studio window. What I don't see is another rundown rooming house like the one I might be looking out of. What I don't see is a porch so dilapidated the landlord has nailed the door leading to it shut instead of repairing it. What I don't see is the hooker across the way making a real quick buck in the doorway of the building opposite. What I don't see is a street where the older residents in the neighborhood no longer venture and I do because I've got some kind of Doc Holiday death wish.
Those were all things I saw from a lot of different places where I sat and looked out windows. I also saw the small garage out back where I twisted a wrench to make a buck and shot the shit with pundits and ponces. One window offered a view of a phenomenally good looking young woman who spent most of that summer on a chaise lounge in the sun. Another window offered a view of the Golden Gate bridge, if you stood on the kitchen counter and crammed your head in the upper right hand corner of the frame. Too many of them let me watch people who had given up, on me or themselves, walk out of my life
The window I spend most of my time near these days is behind me. I situate my desk this way because it is too easy for me to stare at nothing when I should be tracking the cursor across this screen. Outside this one is my yard. I never thought I'd be able to look out at a piece of ground and call it mine. But this is, although the bank has dibs on an ever decreasing share of it. Out there are my gardens. Two raised beds for vegetables ( Southern California is kind in its climate and I can grow things year round). Right outside the window is a fern garden. This comes complete with a dragon lantern, my nod to the Taoist tradition. Across a small lawn is a flower bed where I also keep my Bonsai trees. Hidden among the perennials is Godfrey, my gargoyle. There's a healthy avocado tree that produces well most years. In the farthest corner from this window is a plot dominated by potted bamboo, red grass and a blade leafed acacia. There are several other plants but those are the really notable features. Hidden among them is my favorite kami, Hotai. He raises his hands and smiles across to another bulb garden where the Buddha sits serene. Through a gate there is an herb garden. No, the culinary type, thank you.
Among all this are scattered small pieces of nondescript yard art. Fence reliefs and lanterns, bird feeders and baths. All of it provides a place to contemplate....Well sometimes just nap. Most of the year the gold finches are with us along with house finches, wrens, and sparrows. This time of year the Oregon Juncos are wintering over and a Flycatcher is busy diving and swooping and trying to attract a mate. Spring and fall the Orioles pass through and the hummingbirds are constantly arguing over territory. As with anything natural we have our predators. There is the occasional cat who leaves a pile of feathers under the edge of the red grass and an assortment of hawks who have an uncanny knack for knowing which songbird isn't paying attention. That is life in its essence.
So I keep my back to the window and my eyes on the screen, otherwise the temptation to grab a cup of coffee or a cold bottle of Pelligrino can be too tempting. If I should turn around I might not be satisfied with describing. I putter and often talk over themes and ideas with my tomatoes.
As always I'm looking for contributions of short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, or carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. There's no compensation other than exposure and glory. Author's retain all rights.. You may email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org There are also gadgets on the right side of the page for following or subscribing. I love the company. You're welcome to comment, critique, or send questions. A form for that is at the bottom of the page. I answer as quickly as possible.
In the meantime...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis