I don’t have any shades on my living room windows. When I had it repainted last year, I took down the old shades and curtains since they didn’t go with the new paint colors. My intention has been to replace them with something else, I have a picture in my mind of what the new shades should look like, but I haven’t gotten around to buying them yet. It just isn’t a priority, not for my budget or my time – so the windows remain bare. It’s an old house, about a hundred and fifty years, and it has a full-sized window in the front and then a bay window which includes a French door to the side porch, plus the front door window and side-lights. The result: a lot of window, a lot of light and a lot of visibility – both out and in.
Being in my living room is kind of like being in a fishbowl. It’s not a very active street, and the angles are such that if you are standing in the middle of the room you don’t really have a direct view to any of the neighbors’ windows – nonetheless there is a sense of exposure. There are many folks who like to walk (either themselves or their dogs) down the street and the house is situated relatively close to the sidewalk. It’s also a street that some folks like to use as a cut through, it is situated in the classic historic district of a downtown New England town.
So what all this means is – when you are in there you can’t help but to be aware that other people could see in – if they were looking. This morning as I was sipping my tea and listening to my music – a song came on that made me want to dance. (This happens rather often actually but I don’t always give in to the impulse.) But today I did, and really the living room does have the best floor space on the first floor. So I danced, by myself, in my open living room, to music that inspired me, and though I hadn’t witnessed anyone seeing me – I was aware that they could. And it made me laugh to think of what people might think if they saw “the crazy woman flailing around in her living room” as they passed by. But I continued anyway.
I like being that person; the dancing lady in the living room fishbowl. I think it is important to be yourself – give in to momentary flashes of inspiration – to risk being exposed – and to take chances both big and small. My dancing may not have changed the world, but it sure was enjoyable, and if you can’t be yourself (even in the relative privacy of your own home) then when can you be? Okay, enough said, gotta go, a good song just came on and my feet are tappin’.