10 April 2011

Sensory Deprivation

Scarecrow just took the screens off the windows in our office at home. It's still not warm enough to have them open, and you can see out a lot better without screens on. Duh.

The view isn't particularly spectacular. Close-up, there are the trunks of a couple of large but scraggly black cottonwoods. Since the house sits up above the street, the window looks across the street to Swamp Creek Park. As the name suggests, it's not a lawn-and-rose-bushes kind of park (although there is a patch of grass with some picnic tables further in). From here, I'm mostly looking across the street into the canopies of assorted deciduous trees, which are just beginning to think about leafing out, and a couple of red cedars. There's some seriously ugly fencing that doesn't even do a particularly good job of keeping the dogs in, not that anything seems to do a particularly good job of keeping the dogs in, but the window mostly looks across the top of it and birds sometimes stop there to check out the neighborhood.

We do get some good birds. Nothing exotic, not that I would recognize anything exotic, but close-up views of birds that like tree trunks. Downy woodpeckers, brown creepers. The occasional pileated woodpecker. Robins and juncos and towhees and Steller's jays and chickadees and Bewick's wrens and golden crowned kinglets and similar Little Brown Birds. And crows. And squirrels. I can see the weather outside, and tell whether it's day or night.

There are no windows in the bunker at Gloria's Books and Adult Day Care Center.

When last I worked at a real job in a real office, the 'windows' in my office looked out on a hallway. I called it the Burrow. For half the year, it was dark when I went in and dark when I came out. I never knew whether the sun ever came up or not. I felt like a gopher. Still, there were people and meetings and things to do and background noise and a coffee pot in the kitchen. There were pictures on the wall, and a whiteboard, and my greyhound calendar, and a bookcase, and geological layers of assorted desk detritus.

The bunker is different. It opens off of a dark interior hallway, way the heck at the other end of the warehouse from most of the office activity. One wall is cocoa brown, just a little darker than the walls of our office at home. The other three walls are that institutional not-quite-yellow color. There is nothing on any of the walls except dings and gouges, which I did not put there but which I'm sure my chair will make more of. In this big empty room, there's a little table against one wall, with my laptop on it.

Was it something I said, do you think?

Seriously. It's quiet. That's good. I can put up my greyhound calendar. I'm connected to the 'net, so I've got books and tunes and movies and blogger buddies and whatever else. Scarecrow's got a job, and I've got a place to be while he's there. This is all really good. Really good.

But I gotta tell ya, it sure makes me appreciate my window.


  1. Your window on the world, limited as it is, isn't much better than mine, except... except that you can see sky. Oh, there are days when I just NEED to see the sky, and when it's cold like it is here nine months out of the year I can't leave the door open, or go outside. I get to look out on a fence and a laurel hedge and several arborvitae in great need of care. But I know when the wind blows. For those of us who pretty much live each day on the computer, that's something.

  2. That would be so strange not to be able to see outside all day. I think I would go bonkers.

  3. I have felt so fortunate with my view of greenery outside my window. The bunker does sound, umm, bunkerish. Not sure if you feel like you could bring things in for the wall or maybe down the road.

    I temped for a while in the basement archives of the main UW library, Suzallo. It was rather odd not knowing what was going on outside -- would go to the home page to see if it was raining or sun-breaking. And, for the folks who'd worked down there for years, well, ahem, I'd say either folks self-select for that environment or it affected them. Not sure on that chicken-egg scenario.

    Sounds like a nice collection of birds outside the home window -- more variety than I generally see here. Or maybe you're better at deciphering than I.

    Good luck with the bunker.


  4. Your bunker sounds like my little room I hide in. I put on the head phones to block out the noise, surf the net, and try to ignore.

    I would enjoy the birds maybe have someone scatter seed so I could watch em. Look them up in the field guide online. The fence ok ugly fence I could do without. hey woodpeckers!!

    Good that it is quite but is it too quite? I guess many of us are in a bunker of sorts.