Pre-Ramble: As often as I can, I like to take an evening walk. There’s a nice 2-mile loop around the neighborhood that offers a variety of sights and sounds … lots of trees and fields, a couple of swamps, different angles on a nearby lake, … all sorts of random wildlife. Generally, I try to keep my eyes open – you never know what you’ll see.
One evening, as I was coming around a bend in the road, a shiny surface at the base of a dense clump of trees caught my eye. I focused in from across the road and realized that it was a large (bigger than a windshield), rectangular pane of glass (not it above).
What the heck? It wasn’t like we were on a construction site. We were in the middle of suburbia — houses, kids, dogs, driveways … ?? How/when/why did a pane of glass get propped up against those trees?
I scanned the area around the pane of glass … Was it part of something bigger that had been broken? Did it fall off a truck? Were there other pieces of glass or debris … in the swamp, maybe?
The scene had my full attention now. I crossed the road to get a closer look as I considered other possibilities. I came closer, and stopped. Something was written on the smudged surface of the glass … barely discernible in what appeared to be faint lavender marker. In the center of the leaning pane of glass was the phrase, “window to the future.”
This changed everything … No longer was this automatically to be categorized as a random piece of discarded glass — It was now potentially a premeditated piece of … public art — ?
New questions emerged - Who put it there? And why? Was it the work of a nearby neighbor? A sophomoric prank? Who will actually see it … in the middle of … nowhere? What was it supposed to mean? Did it have some uber-zen meaning that would reveal itself over time? Was it actually communicating some inside message, like John Galt or Bansky?
Or wait! Did someone leave the glass there (shame on them), and then someone else came along with a purple marker and wrote the message? Premeditated, crowd-sourced, collaborative public art!?
Every evening, I’d pass the pane of glass, smile to myself and marvel at the mystery. I showed it to my kids (they thought it was super creepy) and told some of my friends about it (they didn’t get it … “There’s a what, where?” … ).
And then, one day, it was gone.
The Take-Away: Does the person who was responsible for the “window to the future” know that I will think of that pane of glass and its sentiment every time I pass that spot? … Sometimes I think about the pane of glass just randomly, as my brain, like diagnostic software running deep in the background, continues to wonder what that was all about.