I’m going out on a limb here and recommending that EVERY desk should be parked under a window. Rather than a distraction, the view to the world outside helps feed your creativity.
When I see a desk under a window I think of this passage from a favorite book, Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write:
So you see, the imagination needs moodling—long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering…the dreamy idleness that children have, an idleness when you walk alone for a long, long time, or take a long, dreamy time at dressing, or lie in bed at night and thoughts come and go, or dig in a garden, or drive in a car for many hours alone, or play the piano, or sew, or paint ALONE, or an idleness—and this is what I want you to do—where you sit with pencil and paper or before a typewriter quietly putting down what you happen to be thinking.
Here are just a few of the amazing things I’ve witnessed gazing out the window over my desk:
- The couple across the street arguing—I could see the red in her face as she got in the car, slammed the door and screeched the tires down the street while the husband stood bewildered in the driveway.
- The underbelly of a preying mantis as it hung from my screen.
- The removal of a tree from my neighbor’s yard, section by section, like dismantling a life.
- A squirrel digging up food he remembered burying in a very specific place in my yard.
- The habits of birds at the feeder—nuthatches walking down the tree, woodpeckers digging out bugs, finches gossiping, cardinals picking out the safflower seeds.
- A hawk approaching, the birds hiding in a bush, the hawk diving into the bush—mayhem!
- A stealthy squirrel outwitting another predatory hawk.
- A tiny turtle crossing my sidewalk and disappearing into my flowerbed
- A frightened raccoon in a storm, taking shelter in my bushes.
- A female cardinal who bloodied her beak, determined to scare off the interloper she perceived in the window reflection.
- A deer resting under my plum tree, then loping off down the middle of my suburban street.
More from Ueland:
I tell you and reassure you: at such times you are being slowly filled and re-charged with warm imagination, with wonderful, living thoughts…What you write today is the result of some span of idling yesterday, some fairly long period of protection from talking and busyness.
This may be the setting I find ideal…
…windows with views to AT LEAST two planes.
And remember, that means UP, too. One of the nicest days in memory was spent in a friend’s work area on an enclosed solarium porch with a view to the sky above. We may not all be that lucky…
…but even brick walls have secrets to reveal.
It doesn’t matter if the space you have is a little…
…or a lot.
The window is where you want to work.
And moodle, of course.
Build in, if you prefer.
Even add shelves.
Just keep the desk under the window.
It’s okay to share the view, too…
…as long as it doesn’t interfere with individual moodling.
You won’t be sorry.
If you want more (& you should because there’s always more that wants YOU)…
- Check out the (affiliate) links below to get books by Brenda Ueland and books on the power of solitude, imagination and daydreaming.
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