Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Window Dressing

This is the window of my room. Yesterday, with much help from my neighbour, I dressed it. First we put up a light blocking blind, blue on the inside and white on the outside. This proved to be a complex operation as the blind needed to be cut to fit inside the window recess. It took over two hours, what with getting sums wrong the first time. Wrong in the right direction thankfully. After a quick restorative snack we recalculated measurements and then returned to the exacting work of trimming the blind, again.

Doing projects like this is when years of formal meditation proves it's self. When the going gets tough and you would rather take a nap; keep going, keep up the careful work, not cut corners and remind yourself it's basically a worthwhile thing to do in essence. My companion in activity said, by way of encouragement, something like, 'people remember the care involved and tend to forget the hardship'. So true and true of the life of meditation as well.

My original plan was to buy some fancy curtaining while in The Netherlands. Traditionally, and rather oddly, their windows are dressed down to about knee length with white lacy obscuring curtains and then the calves, so to speak, are left bare. Sometimes a host of pot plants hide the view of the interior, but often the living room is in plain sight. So it's hard not to take a peek while passing by. That's just the way windows are dressed, or were. At the temple the windows onto the street have obscuring plastic with tasteful images cut out. As you can see I've 'gone Dutch' as one of the monks remarked on seeing my new window treatment.

This is one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam, it's in the same square as the English Church and a one time Begijnen community. Not much evidence of window dressing there. More on the Begijnen another time.