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Odes

Ode to Screens

Screens are filters. They help to keep unwanted things out. They can also be used to sift through things or to provide the slightest amount of shade. The greatest thing about screens is probably that they are the most effective mosquito and fly repellent. They allow you to open your windows and doors to nature without actually letting nature in. This gives a cool breeze or a warm draft. It allows you to hear the sounds of wind or rain outside in peace. As a child, I remember spending hours upon hours in the sandbox with a screen pouring the sand through it to see both how the sand moved and what the screen filtered out of it. There were treasures to be found, and there were entire mountains built of the sand sifted through a screen. This sand had a particularly smooth texture which made it even more fun to play with. The shade screens provide is just enough to take the harsh edge off of direct sunlight. The presence of a screen changes the perception of the world ever so slightly. There is a sense of separation, a sense of calm, of summer porches and naps. This association is most likely due to my experiences in the Eastern United States where a screened porch is one of the best things you can experience on a hot summer night. The wafting breeze and the security from night bugs let you look out over lawns where lightning bugs dance. Their otherworldly light creating a portal to the realm of the Fae. When it rains, screens cling to the water and create a thousand mini magnifying glasses that create a grey-white glow and distort the world. You can use your breath or hand to siphon off the water and create a thousand little windows outside in a tile patchwork.