Peripheral Beginnings


Today marks new beginnings.

Ian graduates from high school. The center moves into its new digs. Jamie and Ryan are sleeping at their new house. It feels like a lot in one day. And I’m tired just thinking about it. On the periphery, there are picnics, parties, reunions, bills to pay, shopping to do…

My suitcase, from my trip to The Porches, sits in my room beside the dresser.. It’s empty now, so that’s progress. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m thinking, you know, I’m going back in August, it’ll be ok where it is. This is a bad mindset.

I’m reading Michael Pollan’s A Place of my Own. It’s a good thing for me to be reading at the moment. Defining the space one needs to retreat to – creating a place to write. Carve that out. Stay whole. I love Michael Pollan. If you haven’t read anything by him, you should.

As I’m reading, I think about my library, it’s a detached building that stores my books in neat organized rows (by subject [Irish Lit, English, American, Irish History, American, World, Languages… Nonfiction, Fantasy, Fiction]). But the library is mostly seen as “extra” space, so people put stuff there. Extra beds, winter or summer things, broken down bird cages, suitcases, tables, chairs, empty boxes, broken computers. Stuff! Ian periodically talks about using it for a band practice, and I’m ok with that. I want to see it as a creative space.

But for me, books are not stored—they are living breathing experiences. To be paged through and caressed. My books are housed in the library. It has always been my intention to use that space as a private writing office. But somehow bits and pieces of other people’s lives begin to intrude… Take up residence. Negate the importance of the space. And it doesn’t have air conditioning. I have to work on that.

Even now, with the majority of my books purchases being electronic, the library is an important space for me. A space to create, be moved, transported. I chose its name with deliberation. It’s not a building, or hut (like Pollan), or even a room. It’s a library.

a. A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending.
b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.
c. A room in a private home for such a collection.

A place for artistic materials are kept for reading, reference, or lending. All passive forms of writing. In my mind, I imagine it like a library or study in an 18th or 19th century home. The pulse of intellectual activity, where boredom doesn’t lead to checking Facebook statuses, but a perusal of Austen, Blake, Shakespeare, or Tolkein, Pratchett, or Pollan. Thoreau.  It is a place that I will reclaim from the periphery of my reality…

After graduation.

After the moves.

Before someone finds something else to store there…

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