Reflection in a hotel window in Vahrn, South Tyrol, in September of 2017. The slight confusion this photo creates about what is inside and what outside the window reminded me of some lines from the beginning of the poem “Pale Fire” by Vladimir Nabokov (in the eponymous novel which it begins, the poem is supposed to have been written by the fictional character John Shade) in which he so beautifully describes a similar scene of window reflections:
I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane;
I was the smudge of ashen fluff–and I
Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky.
And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
Uncurtaining the night, I’d let dark glass
Hang all the furniture above the grass,
And how delightful when a fall of snow
Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
As to make chair and bed exactly stand
Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!