The striped shadow on my face and the bars casted beside me were all intentional. A temporary tattoo to capture the fact that my new reality is living by a window. It’s a window I long neglected ever since we moved into this corner NYC apartment, but a window that I have come to adore during this time of confinment, nevertheless.
My body and chair start at the right side of the window when the sun rises and we gradually move to the left as the sun starts to set. It is here where I come to catch all of the sun’s rays, making me feel like I am outside, in the world I so long to enjoy once again.
I used to chase the sun in the great outdoors — through fields, over mountains, or by the water. I now chase the sun from my window. My, oh my, how things have changed.
There’s a child’s guard on this window, a small structure made up of welded iron that provides safety. Yet, safety isn’t exactly what I instantly feel. The place where I currently feel the most alive has a “limit.” Surely, this can’t be a way to live.
But it is in these times that we grow stronger, tougher and more robust. It is times like these that we must understand that this, what is happening to us right now, is not ‘forever.’ It is temporary and it happens for a reason.
So I raise my window higher and peek over the guard. Alas, my head comes out. I close my eyes, let the sun shine unto my face, feel the wind blow through my hair and feel like I’m chasing the sun again– like the good times before.
But good times don’t have to stop there. We adapt to a new ‘normal’ and find the beauty in the hand we are dealt.
The window provides an opportunity for people watching, to observe my neighborhood and notice patterns. At 7pm every evening, it offers me community when all of my neighbors stick their heads out of their own windows and clap for our essential workers. I notice that a family of six lives diagonally across from me, so I wave at them. They wave back. Heart, content.
My window as been my special place to read the books I said I was going to read eons ago. It has been the place where I made new memories with my friends and family via video calls because the lighting was so good. It has been the place where I meditate, journal and shoot self-portraits from.
Yes, this window has been there, already, for many new beginnings. Which is why I stare out from it with a whole slew of emotions. Sadness when I hear ambulance sirens, joy when I see my new ‘friends,’ curiosity when I dream about the future, optimism because I know that this will not end here.
My ‘temporary tattoo’ of the window’s shadow casted over my face –my eyes– serve as a reminder of all of this. The guard beside is just that, something beside me. And this whole experience, I will never forget.
All of this makes us stronger. Don’t ever forget that. Every day we are learning more about ourselves and the world. And what a great gift it is to be a student and learn.