All The Windows in New York City

Ireland 1034
Drogheda, Ireland


I have seen them from inside and outside.

Modern and ancient; clean-lined and ornate; translucent and opaque; smooth and mottled; wood and stone; blindingly clean, sealed and soundless.  Noisily battered with rain or softly thunked by quarter-sized flakes of soft snow, plastered by high winds with soaked brown leaves.  In large geometric planes and swirling leaded glass; clear, colorless, and bursting with every hue.  Still and empty and alive with interior light and celebration.  Below ground and at dizzying heights.  Midnight black reflecting licks of sunset’s roaring, angry yellow and vermilion, and casting grey stone into magenta, as if a city is burning not far away.


I’ve seen my own ghost reflected in them, my skin outlined in orange and my hair sun-tipped bright copper as I contemplated the outdoors nearly every day, in every season.

I have pressed a febrile forehead against their cool glass in winter, watching a bright cardinal at the birdfeeder whose tender was gone.

I’ve looked through openings in ancient castles and beheld the same framed views as did people centuries ago, and as will people hundreds of years from now.

I’ve taken photographs out the windows of planes, trains, automobiles, and boats–and even a football-shaped capsule in one city’s towering “Eye.”

I once shattered one with a stapler.

In three seasons looked out through hermetically-sealed hospital windows while post-surgically cradling four newborns swathed in soft cotton. I saw and felt winter from similar windows inside four different hospital rooms during their father’s last weeks.

In front of our babies’ windows, sills held pastel cards and baskets of bright color: coral and yellow roses, wildflowers, plants with blue bows.  The wide white sills inside the other hospital’s rooms, outside of which I can only remember snow and rain, held books, yellow legal pads and pencils, and paperwork indented from being clenched in my hands during each emergency admission: advance directives, instructions for anatomical donation.

I believe in Shakespeare’s poetic characterization of eyes as “the windows of the soul, and by extension the soul itself.”  But my favorite metaphorical windows are found in a poem about New York City.

Poet Jessica Greenbaum used a city’s windows as a metaphor for the vastness of immeasurable love.  In  “I Love You More Than All the Windows in New York City,” she wrote:

                                                       The day turned into the city
and the city turned into the mind
and the moving trucks trumbled along . . .
“. . .  no matter the day, we tend towards
remaking parts of it—what we said
or did, or how we looked—
and the buildings were like faces
lining the banks of a parade
obstructing and highlighting each other
defining height and width for each other
offsetting grace and function . . . .”
I shall borrow the sentiment for those I love and the husband I lost: I love you more than all the windows of the world.

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

8 thoughts on “All The Windows in New York City”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: