Mike McCormack, Galway City, Ireland


Windows on the World

A series on what writers from around the world see from their windows.

I have lived in this house on the edge of Galway City for over five years now and for a couple of hours a day I sit with my feet up on the window sill and look out over this cul-de-sac. And no matter what time of day I sit here it always seems to be the middle of the afternoon. The place is constant, not given to mood swings or tantrums, just that tree and the sweep of tarmac which curves along by the green, nothing much to hold the eye or interest. Of course this is precisely the kind of stillness in which the mind’s eye gets lost—vista as vortex. From time to time the stillness is broken up by a car or a child or a stray dog crossing the green. Sometimes a ball rolls into view. These are all quietly interesting but sooner or later they meld into the stillness of the place.

Today it’s raining—patient, steady rain which will keep falling into the night. That’s December rain, nothing new or unusual about it. Beyond the rooftops the sky has lowered down in heavy grey folds. Two years ago we had snow here for the first time, and for nearly a month the whole place was blanketed in soft whiteness. And while snow added little to the stillness of the place, for a short while it looked like it was elsewhere. —Mike McCormack