01/08/2012 § Leave a comment
A good friend of mine in Brooklyn recently had a baby; she said that her baby is constantly fascinated by looking out the window, looking around at the city around her. She doesn’t need fancy toys – the world around her is enough. How often is this true for adults? Milan Kundera describes the curious yet relaxed gaze as old-world indolence through the Czech proverb: “Gazing at God’s windows.” He continues that “A person gazing at God’s windows is not bored; he is happy. In our world, indolence has turned into having nothing to do, which is a completely different thing: a person with nothing to do is frustrated, bored, is constantly searching for the activity he lacks.” (1995, Slowness) In the spring of 2011 in Spain, I visited Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Granada. Everywhere I looked, people sat and looked. I cannot be sure what each person saw, but I take comfort in their looking.