Friday, August 6, 2010

Windows

My friend, Diana, and I hiked in Castlewood Canyon State Park yesterday. Neither of us had been there before and we didn't know what to expect. We found a piece of paradise in Colorado. I may write more about the hike later, but today I'm only sharing one small part - the windows in the old Lucas Homestead. All but one of the photos below came from that house which was built sometime in the late 1800s/early 1900s.




Strange things blow in through my window on the wings of the night wind and I don't worry about my destiny. - Carl Sandburg





Up until about the age of 31, I had a deep fear of windows if they were still uncovered after the sun went down. My fear that I would see a man looking at me through the glass paralyzed me so much that if the window curtains hadn't been closed by the time darkness came, I was not able to enter the room. That all changed after my divorce. I think it was due to the fact that I was then completely responsible for my young son and daughter. I became the Mother Lion and fear moved on.








Oh, You can see the little children all around
Oh, You can see the little ladies in their gowns, when you

Look through any window, yeah
Any time of day

- From the song, Look Through Any Window by the Hollies





We have attended the monthly vigil at the Aurora, Colorado I.C.E detention center three times. It is the place where our federal government takes people they consider to be "illegal immigrants". People who may have lived here and worked here and raised a family here may suddenly disappear one day and this is the place they may be found.

In May, we saw inmates looking out the windows at us, writing notes of thanks and holding them up for us to see. This month, the new addition had been put to use - an addition that expanded the facility so that it is now three times its previous size.

With the new addition, inmates no longer have the ability to look out any window to the outside world.

I can't imagine a world without windows...




Some Kiss We Want

There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of
spirit on the body.

Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling!

At night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its
face against mine.

Breathe into me.

Close the language-door and
open the love window.
The moon
won't use the door, only the window.

--Rumi. Translator: Coleman Barks

11 comments:

  1. I love windows ... at night I like an open window and the curtains drawn back although Mr Dancing prefers them tight shut.

    I love the idea in Rumi's poem that the moon won't use the door, only the window.

    Great photos of the Lucas homestead windows. What a beautiful blue Colorado sky!

    What do the people in the detention centre DO all day? What happens to them? How long are they there?

    Illegal immigrants! I'm in here England because my ancestors immigrated from Prussia about 150 years ago - probably illegally at the time. You are probably there because your ancestors immigrated too.

    Anonymous Dancing

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  2. I kind of like the idea of dancing anonymously! ;-)

    Good questions about the people in the detention center. I know that there is a tiny exercise area. Before the addition to the building, we could see it - it was surrounded by fence and razor wire. Now it is not open to the outside world except by the lack of roof.

    I'm sure there is a lot of time to just linger in nothingness. And people are probably doing all they can to connect with someone who can help them get out.

    Some people are lucky enough to have people on the outside get them out. Most people are probably sent back to Mexico or whatever country they are from. They are treated like criminals, even if they have never committed a crime (other than the crime of trying to work for the resources to feed themselves and their families).

    I don't know if my ancestors came over here from Ireland and Scotland "legally" or not. If we want to talk about "legal", though, truly most of our country should find a new home. What we did to those already here when we arrived...

    Oh, Dancing. I am not proud to be an American.

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  3. I think you should be proud to be an American ... the world was a different place back then and you can't be held responsible ... what is that saying? The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.

    Have you ever looked for your ancestors on the Ellis Island website I wonder?
    http://www.ellisisland.org/

    I feel sure your immigrant ancestors did not arrive illegally.

    Anonymous Dancing (prefer to dance anonymously as I have 2 left feet)

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  4. Anon Dancing,

    I agree about the past, but we are NOW treating those who come here inhumanely. That, and our antics in other parts of the world, are some of the things that make me not proud to be an American.

    Thanks for the link. We have some ancestry info and I did look up one person (who I didn't find on the Ellis Island site). Maybe some day I'll search some more.

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  5. Carol: I loved your window post. How fitting to write about windows and detention centers at the same time. Some people look in, while others look out. And the folks you hold vigils for have to look out windows because they took advantage of a window of opportunity to make their lives better.

    I did a vigil at the Ellis Unit of the Huntsville prison once. The Ellis Unit is where prisoners await their death sentence there. I did the vigil. I did that vigil with a different little girl, a long time ago. What stories we will have to share when toe roll is called up yonder, eh?

    I tried to post my comment as me, but blogger is still making huffy breaths at me, so I am once again anonymous.
    Gram

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  6. Great photos. I did not know about the detention facility for "illegal" immigrants. So sad!

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  7. Anonymous Gram,

    I'm liking this - an anonymous dancer and an anonymous gram. Kind of like Secret Santas! ;-)

    Thank you for attending the vigil at the prison. It's important that we witness for compassion and love. It's important for people whose lives are in the hands of others to know that someone cares.

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  8. Otowi,

    I think that the powers that be want it so that you don't know about it. It is tucked into a place where no one would ever suspect it, facilitating its ability to keep the inmates hidden and forgotten.

    Yes, it IS sad...

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  9. I loved those pictures! I had never stopped to consider the inherent beauty in windows.

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  10. Thanks Thomas.

    There's a big difference between un-curtained, un-paned, un-screened windows and the ones we usually live with.

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  11. As you know, Alex has chosen a windowsill as his present favorite cat nesting spot. He has been doing that since it became too hot for him to go outside to cat-around.

    I think he has made an excellent choice: he can see his favorite outside spots (the porch next door and grass where he grazes when he wants to graze), his fur doesn't get over-heated, and I have a glass of water and kitty treats for him on my desk which is a (cat) step away from his windowsill. And, perhaps most importantly, the shade is pulled down and between Alex and whatever (whoever) is visiting our house. I think that Alex's window is cat-purrfect.

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