Let's talk about windows. Bear with me - my mind is dancing about today.
Blogs are like windows, aren't they. A little glimpse into or a panoramic view of our lives, depending on who you are, your circumstances, your need for privacy, your life, your family, the place you live. Community. Age. A great many factors govern the state of your window.
And windows do of course, come in may styles and sizes. One common factor is that they all have glass in them. Some though, have obscured glass, and only vague shapes are visible through them. Nothing is clear at all, from either side of the glass.
Well, here in the UK, there are still a many homes with net curtains at their windows. Houses are smaller, and closer to the road, and it is a way of preserving your privacy. Unless you happen to switch on the lights in the evening, and then the net curtains are completely useless. I can see in then, to what is concealed at other times.
Other people have got vertical blinds, which filter the view out, and the view in too. They are angled to see one side of the garden or the other or just straight ahead. Then there are roller blinds, which can obscure half of the window or all of it, depending on whether it is day or night. And curtains of course, which are closed at night.
Then you have homes like mine, where I hate darkness, and love light, so the windows into my garden have no curtains or blinds. I keep the curtains in the front of the house open till it is really dark. If people can see in, well, that is just fine.
The reason I have noticed this at the moment, is that I am staying at a friend's house for a few days, to look after their pets. They live in another part of the village. And, staying in someone else's home means you have different curtains to contend with. Window thingies. Once I started pondering windows, it sort of led to the blog link. Well, I know what I mean.
So back to the blog.
Some people use their blog as a family record, and post about their lives in detail. Open windows. Often they make it private, only accessible to trusted friends. Closed curtains. Others focus on one aspect of their lives, and seldom talk about the rest. Windows with blinds. Some guard what they say, and the privacy of their family really carefully. Almost closed curtains. Or nets.
I blog in a smallish community of lovely people, who I have grown to know and love. I have watched their children / grandchildren grow, their lives develop, and I have laughed, cried, and listened and learned from them all. Some I have got to know more personally through emails, conversations and meetings, and that has been such fun. Layers being peeled away. Blinds being opened. Or it could be x-ray vision of course. Hmmm.
I control the window here, you see. I sometimes close the curtains. I usually use the filter of blinds, so only a part of my life is visible. Net curtains too, at times. Often the temptation is to fling open the window, and let the light flood in, but then I think of my kids, and some of them are not wildly thrilled about starring roles. Or of knowing what their Mum is actually thinking. Or of being reminded that their mother is actually a person too! Some things need to be kept to myself. For now anyway.
Very few blog windows out there are open wide. Most of us take steps to protect our vulnerability, and yet there are times when I wish I could just write what burns like a fire in my heart. Without thinking of consequences. Taking precautions. Editing. Pulling down the blinds a little. A little more. More again. Then maybe closing the curtains too, to make sure that no-one can see me. See into me. See into my heart. My mind.
I want to fling open the windows. Heck, I want windows like my sister's ones, which fold back on each other, until the whole wall is open to the elements, and the window is out of the way. You see, I tend to take what people I know in real life may think into a little too much consideration. Not that I am writing about them, of course. But they read this. They recognise me in the street. I choose to write. They choose to read.
And what about reflective glass? You can't see in from outside - you just get a view of yourself. But from inside, you can see out perfectly. Perhaps this is what a truly inspirational blog has in its window. Deflecting attention from the author, to reinforce their message instead. That takes enormous talent, and I can think of a few wonderful women who fall into that category. Heaven knows how much they have made me think over the years, and re-examine parts of me I would far rather ignore.
So our windows are all different. At times, I use my wildly over-active imagination to consider what people may not be saying. I am sure most of us do this. I care about people who matter to me.
I wonder at times, though, how different life would be if we were all open. Ah well - that is life, isn't it, and living in a street with identical windows, blinds, curtains would make life very boring indeed. And I wouldn't have to use my imagination as much.