We All Have Our Obsessions – What’s Yours?
We all have our little obsessions, don’t we? Those things that draw us for reasons we can neither fathom nor change. A natural segue here would be to mention how writing is an obsession for writers. You know the saying: Writers are either writing or thinking about writing. But no. I’m not going for the easy ploy here, buttercup. What I’m talking about are the oddities that capture our attention. For instance, an author I know—*cough* Cathy C. Hall—loves miniatures. Another friend of mine seeks out the gingerbread cutouts on porch rails. For me, it’s doors and windows.
I could post these forever, but you get the idea.
What is it about doors and windows that sets my heart to fluttering? They are arguably a visual metaphor for . . . well, something. New adventures? A better day? The mystery of what lies beyond? I can’t say. The only thing I’m certain of is that doors and windows, whether open or closed, capture my attention.
And here’s a creepy secret. Shh. Don’t tell anybody. I love how, while driving at night, I can see into houses. As the car drives past those windows with the lights on and the blinds up, there is a period of about three to five seconds when we’re offered the snippet of a view into another reality. I’ve written a million stories in my head about the lives beyond those windows, people I will never meet who, by virtue of their lighted window, allowed me momentary access. They are, in a sense, live portraits. There are a few I remember: an old woman handing an old man a coffee mug, and he patted her leg; children playing chase; a dog pressing his nose against the pane, tail wagging behind him like a metronome.
I’ve never seen anything dreadful through those windows and I don’t expect to. It might make for a pretty good tale—a little Rear Window-ish, though, and I promise you, I don’t carry binoculars with me. That would spoil it and turn me from a mere passerby into a peeping Tom. Besides, I prefer the finite view, that quick blink of insight that passes in a heartbeat, leaving it up to me to create the story I choose.
About a hundred years ago, I dragged the hubster to a local arts and crafts festival with the usual cajoling:
Me: “Hey, hon. I’m thinking about wallpapering the bathroom. Will you come look at wallpaper with me?” There’s a method to my madness. Wait for it . . .
Hub: “What? You want me to spend six hours looking at wallpaper?” Eyes wide with genuine terror. Hunting for wallpaper is second on his never-do list—first is helping me shop for a bathing suit.
Me: “Well, that. Or we could go to the arts and crafts festival instead.”
Hub: “The festival. Let’s go!”
I love it when he’s so enthusiastic like that. *bats lashes*
Anyway, I learned a lesson at that festival. There was an artist selling the image of a closed door next to a window bearing flower boxes. It was a scene that caught his eye during a trip to Hungary. The colors were copious and bright, the building construction old. The price: too high. We took with us the name of the artist and the painting, with the notion of purchasing a print at a later date. Unfortunately, the card was lost, the particulars forgotten.
Except for the image itself. That I’ve never forgotten, never stopped wondering about the many lives lived behind that door and window. And the lesson I learned is that when something grabs me in the way that did, it is time to seize the day. I wish I had forked over the dough for that artwork. It would have been worth every penny.
But I digress. The point is, windows . . . doors. I can’t get enough. They capture me, draw me in, every time. They speak to me in a way nothing else does.
What has a hold on you? What captures your attention and makes you feel things, makes you dream things? What is your obsession?
Thanks for hanging out with me. See you next week for more of the Naked Truth!
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