Windows On An Inner World


I wish you could see me gazing out this most beautiful of windows, I wish I were there.  I promise that if this were my window I’d let you see me inside, having just tossed the stray bits of morning baguette to the ducks, shaking the crumbs from my apron, lingering a moment over one last bowl of café au lait.


Then, perhaps, I’d hang my laundry out to dry in the sunny courtyard, those most private of garments in that semi-public place.  So French, that hide and seek of underwear: I agree to let you see it, you agree not to mention it.


Later I’d go to visit my neighbor, very old now, just out of the hospital and no longer able to see that she’s shut the curtain out to dry in the sun as well.  That curtain, not as white as it used to be, the shutters no longer blue.  Or am I remembering wrong?


Perhaps I’d invite her to lunch with me down by the water, where the windows are wide open and the curtains safely tied.  We’d hear the ducks, even if she couldn’t see them.  We’d talk about how the water is running high this year, about floods in years past.  We might not talk much about the future.


Afterwards I’d walk home past the smallest balcony in town, only as wide as a single car garage, but still wide enough and sunny enough for two friends sharing an afternoon Pastis.  I’d walk slowly, hoping to be invited up, but no one would be home, or it would be too early for Pastis, or foreigners would have moved in recently.


Coming home alone, I’d close my shutters against the prying eyes of the tourists’ cameras, and begin the slow drift toward the night.  I’d have a little salad of beets and walnuts, a cup of soup.  No duck. No company.


Unimaginable as it is, the day will come when my shutters too will stand open day and night, and no one will be home.


If you’re as much of a voyeur as I am, you might want to peep into some other French windows we’ve visited before, like the ones here, or here, or here.

Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France


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4 Comments on “Windows On An Inner World”

  1. Shaya Says:

    Sheer poetry, Abra, the combination of your sentiments and photographs, it’s so unique and so beautiful.

  2. Judy Amster Says:

    Abra, your blog is ready to be a book. You have a true gift. Thank you.


  3. Abra Bennett Says:

    From your mouth to a publisher’s ear!

  4. I so love all your posts on French windows, Abra. So evocative. Bring so many good memories….

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