A kick-off to the Year 2014. May you all enjoy a wonderful New Year. Things go well and dream come true. Let’s celebrate!
What a day to start my first blog of the year! It is a fresh new beginning of 2014 and the day I was brought to earth more than six decades ago. I am an ordinary person and up to this point, I have not been able to be everything that I wanted, but my desire to learn, explore, and be educated at all times won’t change because that is how I am.
Blogging was new to me since I started in January 2013. I did it primarily for my photography. I need photos for my blogs and therefore, I am getting extra push to take more pictures. In addition, I am motivated to write and approach all different kinds of subjects. I enjoy the freedom to blog whatever comes to my mind during that week. Sometimes my inspiration came early and sometimes till the last minute. I need to go over all my pictures and create a blog calendar, but the images are faster added to my library than I can go over. I have to overcome the many But’s that I used as excuses and get down to the bottom line.
I want to do something different or new this year, but not until I actually did it, I would rather keep it to myself at the moment. If I make a promise and cannot carry it out as planned, I won’t sleep well and I want to avoid that. I want my progress made simultaneously and with no stress involved. After four decades of intense career life, stress is one last thing that I need.
At a recent shoot at Mission Mill Museum (Salem, Oregon), I started out chasing after Christmas Lights and ended up looking for Windows. I cannot explain why windows suddenly mean so much to me, but I was literally obsessed with window after window. I looked at them from distance, I zoomed in my lens to see them closer and I stood right by it to peek inside.
This building is the original mill with exhibits of all original milling machinery and equipment. I counted a total of 50 windows on three sides and all of them are trimmed with Christmas Lights. As a whole, it looks stunning in the night. Behind the building, there was a large meeting room with lighted windows. Multicolored Christmas lights outside reflect on the windows and also the creek beneath. My eyes were drawn to the gold and green reflection on the water and moved up to the windows.
There was a concert inside the room and quite a crowd audience. With the interior lighting, people’s colorful outfits, and colorful light reflections on the window, a lively showcase was presented right in front of me. Three window panels look like three live color paintings to me. I love the colors and I enjoyed ‘the look’ of the live show inside regardless ‘of the content’. What I saw are the lights, the colors, the patterns, and the moving figures. They all look very appealing to me from a distance.
The charming ambiance showcased in one of the windows nailed me to where I stood. I cannot quite explain why I am so attached to this window, but I have been looking at this image over and over and have not gotten tired of it. I just love this window. If I am silly. so be it.
Sometimes we peek through windows to see what’s going on inside and at other times we look through windows to see outside. Thinking of the window, I cannot help but go back to the images I took at the ‘Almost Paradise’ place I recently visited. A small window can bring us a picturesque scenery of sky, clouds, mountains, trees, and architecture. Think about this fine design mind. It is mind-boggling. It is magical and intriguing.Being an immigrant in America, I have spent decades of my life trying to understand American culture and embrace in haste to be part of it while I seemed gradually forget what I have possessed within me prior, a significant culture embedded since 4200 B.C. or earlier. How my ethnic ancestors have established this stunning culture in human history is beyond me, and I am really stimulated to revisit and be recharged.
On my recent Taiwan trip, I purchased two history books, one is written to list all major historical events chronically and the other is the legend anecdotes and stories in each dynasty. Reading these books have refreshed many memories and dramatically increased my yearning for going back to explore my root.
Before I decide to take a cruise along the Baltic Sea, I often thought travel by cruise is the most boring thing that I can imagine. You stuff tons of food in your stomach, you try to tan yourself in the swimming pool on a ship, why swim on a ship? That is my first question. Or, you stare at the sea all day long before the ship can find its harbor. However, very quickly, I changed my mind after this picture was taken. There are my hubby, sister, and bro-in-law. How often do you get your adult siblings together? Because you are on a ship, confined, you cannot go anywhere, so might as well, relax and enjoy. Sea is the sea. Blue has various shades, but it is still blue. Twilight sun reflection stirs the sea a little and adds a golden layer. All is calm and peaceful. These oversized windows provide a vision for us to enjoy peace, and for me to capture an image like this one, and now looking back, cherish the moment I had with my family. Won’t you say, “thank you, windows?”?
Just a bit before Christmas, my neighbor across the street informed us that her mother decided to give up her cancer treatment. She has lived a life of 90 years and it is about time to go back to where she came from. I visited her. Expecting to see a sick and weak old lady, instead, I witnessed an upbeat and radiant face of a strong soul. I don’t know how will I deal with this reality when my day comes but I so admire her spirit.
My neighbor is a single child of the family. Her father has passed away a few years ago, so she is all alone with this even though she is getting lots of support from friends. I am not very good at comforting and sweet words, so I cooked a few meals for her while her hands were tied. I spotted her window every time when I pulled out of my driveway and I said a prayer. My heart was saddened thinking why the winter storm had to interfere at this moment when cheer and sunlight were so needed inside the window, sigh. The mother finally closed her eyes for good on the birthday of her late husband, a few days before Christmas.
Just a few more windows below to show you how much I am obsessed with windows…
Windows of a MacDonald store in Bergen, Norway. With big M’s all over the windows, it serves the purpose of advertising. There is no doubt in my mind, that this big M reminds me of home whenever I am traveling, mighty America.
Windows of a Danish contemporary building in Copenhagen. It was the first thing I saw when our tour bus rolled into town on the main street. I just love the shapes and colors of those glass windows on a white facade. It is beautiful from the exterior and I imagine, people inside would feel like working in an art museum. Among everything else, the Danish creative spirit is what I adore the most.
Windows of a European-style restaurant, I like the awnings on individual windows. Somehow they convey to me the comfort of being inside a nice and cozy place. Outwardly, they seem to enhance the windows and display a more civilized appearance.
Isn’t windows magical? At least I think so.
3 thoughts on “Window Obession”
Thank you for sharing, as always Chris. Your writing takes me back to a slower, more simple pace, when I looked around more and noticed beauty everywhere as a child. i will do this more. You are very inspiring! My heart is glad you helped your neighbor not be alone with her struggles; you are a good friend! Glad you are back home too 🙂
It is surely a luxury being able to enjoy life in a more relaxed pace. Have a great year of fun, joy and hope.
Windows are a glimpse into our souls. I hope your neighbor is doing well…I too want to have a strong soul at the end and now. Thanks, Chris.