Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Window Washing

So i just spent about ten minutes watching these men washing the windows of a building across the street. It was all quite fascinating; the rhythm and motion, a random but ordered movement, and perilous, to say the least. Suspended in air by just a handful of ropes, a slip or tear away from real injury.

But the need they were fulfilling was real, if not underappreciated. For the people on the other isde of the glass, the change might only be subtle, but critical in their ability to have a clear view of what is right in front of them, even if they didn't know what they were seeing before was less-than-clear.

I think there's a metaphor in all of this. Our lives are full of distraction and opaqueness. Even when we don't realize it, how we view the world, our family, friends, even ourselves, is subtly but importantly altered by things we can't see, or refuse to see. Often, we know these obstructions are there, and yet don't take time to clean our own windows. It could be laziness, it could be fear, it could be because we have grown so accustomed to the distractions, that we'd rather just leave well-enough alone, and reshift our focus to make that distorted view our new reality.

I think it's incredibly important from time to time to see to it that our own windows are cleaned, to readjust to a more real view of things. To see ourselves and the world around us clearly, stripped down of the daily soot and grime that often can overwhelm our ability to see things as they truly are. I think window washers have an incredibly difficult and often overlooked role in our lives, whether it's for our office windows or for ourselves. And we should take the time to appreciate and thank the window washers in our lives, because they are more important to us than I think most of us, especially me, realize.

Who are your window washers?