A few years ago I opened the blind on a window in my house. I looked out and, now and then, someone would look in. Before lunch the sun would shine through the window, warming a patch of the cold linoleum floor. Like a dog I sat basking in the light. It was good.

I opened the blinds on the windows in other rooms in my house, leaving each room a porthole to the sun. Through them I saw the birds in the trees and through them the neighbors could see me seeing them and we would wave as if our eyes happened to meet by chance. Then we would return to our work and play. It was good.

I went through my house and opened the blinds on all of the windows in every room—tore them open. Beams of light shot into my house, Swiss-cheesing it like bullets riddling their paper target or laser motion detectors in a Saturday morning cartoon museum. Downy tufts of grass sprouted in the kitchen where the sunlight struck the floor, then in my bedroom, then in the living room, the vacant guestroom. It was good.

I eyed the kitchen’s wallpaper. I peeled it off hesitantly at first, but sped up as I saw what the yellowing paper had been concealing. Not wood, drywall, bricks, or concrete but seamless glass. After the kitchen, I peeled more until the outer walls of both floors glistened like sheer crystal. The sun was no longer restricted to its tiny rectangles scattered like Easter eggs throughout the house—no—it shined in through infinite avenues. The grass spread. Ivy sprouted and coiled around the legs of the dinner table, chairs, the piano, and my bed. Passersby would stop and stare, admiring the street’s new greenhouse. Some asked to enter to see it for themselves. As they walked through my house stupefied, flowers arose and bloomed where their feet had fallen, as if Aphrodite herself were my guest. It was good.

The house continues to grow. Bark covers the kitchen appliances, shelves, the TV’s cabinet, my desk, and other pieces of furniture.  Birds have made their homes in the branches that reach out from the bannister. Moss covers the beds. A local artist stained some of the glass. A rose window now perches atop the front door. St. Francis kneels in my living room, whispering to his wolf friend. My young dog, Gawain, frolics through the hallways of his house-field, leaving little surprises for me to find in the tall grass. It isn’t Eden, but it is very good.

One thought on “transparency

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