Turning a Wall into a Window, Katherine Sanders

In Katherine Sanders, nonfiction on July 20, 2011 at 9:54 am

I looked, but I didn’t see anyone turning a wall into a window. So I’ll have to imagine it. Maybe it would be happening around where I saw the window being turned into a wall. It’s no easy task to interrupt a flat surface.  I imagine it would be done carefully, working from the inside out. No, there’s no dramatic demolition—part of the wall has to remain standing. The first work is exploratory. You have to understand whether the wall is load-bearing or not, and if it is, where the major support beams are. Avoid them, you don’t want to destroy the whole structure, just create a puncture. Open all the doors and windows so the crumbling dust doesn’t stifle you. Gently pry away the outer layers, the window will begin to take shape. I can’t help but wonder what it feels like to see a window for the first time—sunlight where before there had been none, a place to poke your hand through, a constructed negative space, a piece of the living world to frame.


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