Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something about a View

View of the city from our rooftop terrace. 

As I sat on the top of Primrose Hill yesterday overlooking the city working on condensing three chapters for a would-be book into an article (on Pre-Originalism - I'll post on my professional blog, constitutionathomeandaway.blogspot.com when completed), I was interrupted by a polite, mature gentleman.

"I find it apposite to find you here," he said.  Referencing my laptop and "dongle," he continued, "Usually people come here to get away from that."

"I find the view inspiring for my writing," I said.

"Why do you find it inspiring?" he asked.

I made some ill-thought-through comment about growing up with a view and about putting man's work into perspective.

He apologized for the interruption, then sat down to explain why he found it inspiring enough to take the hill into his daily walk.  He talked about how the Great Fire of 1666 moved the city geographically and how you could see its growth west via the skyline (as if he remembered the fire).  He had obviously spent time thinking about why he was inspired.

I need to do likewise.  My husband and I are the same: I believe we are happiest when we have a "window on life" as he calls it.  Our last flat had a limited one - of a street opening on to Green Park.  Now we have an entire city to look upon from our rooftop terrace plus the nearby hilltop to boot.  What is it that speaks to our souls and inspires us?

Any ideas?


  1. p.s. the gentleman also happened to be a mildly famous poet. You can read his poems here: http://www.cundall.org.uk/

  2. He sounds so sweet.

    I think having a view just naturally calms us. There's something almost spiritual about the horizon or, skyline.

  3. I think from up high (physically, or jsut when we have a large view of things) our focus leaves ourselves. from my basement sweet I don't have a view. Often I don't even know when it is raining outside. I am trapped in my little world, but I can make sense of it. when I leave, the world get bigger, and I can nolonger understand it. It goes beyond my comprehendsion. And I think that is inspiring, because we know there is so much more, and more that we will never understand. It opens our minds to all sorts of possibilities. Possibilities I would never have if I stay in my home.