Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

The Rewards of Window Gazing

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: Spirituality, mindful living, window gazing, guilty distractions, pedestrian culture, voyeurism, interconnection, neighborhood, Carly Stasko, Spacing, Julie Hanus,

windowWindow gazing—when you catch yourself doing it—can feel like a guilty distraction, a momentary lapse of attention that ought to be corrected by re-focusing on the task at hand. But what if we treated looking out the window as a purposeful exercise? Whenever Carly Stasko needs a break, she writes for Spacing, she does just that. Instead of turning to any number of the screens modern life offers as distraction, she sits and gazes out at a neighborhood intersection, observing the “pedestrian culture” she’s come to appreciate as an art form.

“Yes, this is voyeurism,” Stasko confesses, “but less creepy and with a dose of humanity. Instead of peeking into other people’s windows I’m gazing out of my own.” She reports that she rarely spends more than a few minutes—contrast that to the time-suck of TV or the Internet—and that the experience leaves her with a sense of interconnection and appreciation, rooted in her neighborhood.

Source: Spacing (article not available online)

Image by Olga Dietrich, licensed under Creative Commons.