Saturday, December 25, 2010

The view from here

Christmas Day, 2010. Sitting in my brother's living room, where he has photos floating across the TV screen of Christmas scenes from yesteryear, I notice the above picture go by a couple of times....and I can sense it pulling on me, somehow.

I recognize that window vista. More to the point, I guess, I remember the feeling.

The camera is pointed out the window of a house in suburban Rochester, New York. It's around the time I was born -- maybe a little before, perhaps a little after. Regardless, it's clearly an ingrained very early memory.

Here's how it struck me tonight, I think. Looking out that window, flashing by for a few seconds in a world full of digital images and big-screen TVs, where I can live a thousand miles away and fly in for the holidays, and log on to the web and convey my thoughts to whoever may be out there reading....what that picture said to me is: At one point, this was the entirety of my world view.

I lived perfectly well in a simple home. All my needs were cared for. Nothing more was wanted, sought, dreamed of, desired.

The world outside? Well, this was it. This was the future. What awaited me was....the yard, the street, the neighbors' house across the way.

And the pursuit of just those immediate surrounds, those things you see outside this window, would keep my explorations occupied for years to come.

The future, now so long passed, was a long, long way away.

The world, in the end, would not wait. But from that view out the living-room window, the world stretched on beyond the snow, up toward the sky....and all the way to forever.

Peter Blackstock
December 25, 2010

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