I don’t know what made me think of it, but it just occurred to me that I’ve spent the largest portion of my writing life working in a room with a north-facing window. And when I was growing up, my bedroom window also faced north. I’ve written in a room with a south-facing window, but in that case the window was at my back, and very little of the sky was visible. And I’ve worked while facing an oak-paneled wall, in a small space between a piano and a wood stove. The windows in that room faced west, and the view was mostly obscured by the overhang of a porch and the brick pillars holding it up.

The question is, what effect have these windows and their views had on my writing? Or has it even mattered? It seems unlikely that I would have written exactly what I did write had I been facing east, for instance. But would there have been a significant difference in content or form? I have no doubt that the places themselves have had an enormous influence. But there is much more to a place than what one sees of it through a window. And then there’s the shape and size of the window to consider, as well as what is heard when the window is open: geese, traffic, the steady hum of farm machinery, kids playing, neighbors arguing, the wind in the trees . . . silence . . .

For that matter, what is a window? Is the answer really as obvious as it seems? And do we look out at the view, or does the view come in to greet us?

The geese have returned
with news from a distant land,
a painting on glass

Each time I look, I find something has changed. Shouldn’t I change too?

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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