The Library…endroit à moi…

Photo by Ying Ge on Unsplash

It is in the afternoon, October 22, 2021, 3:48pm to be exact, and today does not feel like a good day. It feels “blah” and I have been telling myself, “ You need to get out of this funk and go to work!” It does not seem to work until, well…now is 3:50pm…The question I ask myself, now, writing this piece is, “Should I just give it up? Should I just let this funky mood drive my day?” This is the rationale: everything in life has its opposites… in fact, everything in life NEEDS opposites. So, maybe, just maybe, I should experience today as a “bad day” so I could look forward to tomorrow as a “good day.” It is not written anywhere that only a good day could drive a person…a bad day, at times, could drive us to a magical road as well.

When I am in the funky mood, one word always come to mind, “Library.” I’ve grown up with libraries, both at home and outside home. Books, magazines are always all around my room, my space…well, with some crumbs from scrumptious cookies or cakes or crackers, the ones that are “forbidden” around the books because my mom believes books are sacred, you don’t open it with buttered or oily finger tips. Books, magazines have been my best friends. They bring magical moments in my thoughts, emotions, often times in my physical space through goosebumps, tears, smiles, laughters, closing my fists…if one person asked me, what would be the platform of my existence? What would be things I want to be burned with when I die? No doubt…books, the ones I love and the ones I am not fond of.

Funky mood makes me want to hide, want to be invisible. Throughout my life, a good 48 out of 50 years that is, behind row of books is a beautiful place to hide, to be invisible. It is like words will protect me, stories will caress me, and those sturdy, big and small, thin and thick, rectangular shapes lined up perfectly as my personal soldiers…and I feel safe.

The strongest, monumental library in my life found when I was 5 years old. I called it “The Library”. Here is the story leading me to find “The Library”…coming home, after school and some lessons either swimming, or dance, or violin, or piano or language class, was always the greatest moment of my life as a first grader. I skipped Kindergarten, hence I was in first grade at the age of 5. School was fun, lessons were enjoyable. However, coming home means some snacks and a book to read, and nothing could beat that! I don’t remember the day, I do remember that it was sometimes in the middle of the week ( I am sure had it happened on Monday, it would probably be worse!), in the morning before school, my mom told me that my grandparents will come to visit and I should plan to spend sometimes with them after school. I was 5! I did not think anything of it! I went to school, went to piano lesson and French class, and was ecstatic to know that the next destination would be home. When I got home, I did my routines: washed my hands, changed to home clothes, and charged to my room, my library while humming a song I played at the piano lesson and picked a book. I sat down and read…when the door opened and my mom, with an angry face, stern voice, asked me to put my book away, go to my grandparents, spend time with them, and the worse message of all: she punished me not to read for three days because I did not listen to her. Three days!! 72 hours!! I was 5 ! ( I know it might sound like an excuse, but really, I was 5!)…I did not remember that my grandparents came to visit and I was to spend sometimes with them. Tears did not come down to my face, no emotions could describe that moment. I did not know what to do! To say “I am sorry” did not occur to me. I guess I did not think I did anything wrong! To say “Mom, please, I won’t do it again!” is not an option. With my mom, to be responsible with our actions is one fundamental “rule” and she follows the rule very very closely. That day, that moment, I learned to find “The Library”…the emergency place where I could hide emotionally and mentally, yet be seen physically. I did not have a choice but to spend time with my grandparents. My physical was with them, my emotions and mental were somewhere else…my thoughts were creating a story…a book of my own…and I called it “The Library.” “The Library” stayed open for the next 72 hours, the days that I could not read. Call it a defense mechanism! Call it a run away place! That day, that particular punishment, opened a new world for me. The world that follows me until today…whenever I feel of disappearing, I open “The Library”…sometimes I leave them as thoughts, sometimes I write them down, sometimes I compose a song…sometimes it opens for five minutes, sometimes five days, sometimes a week…

Today is perfect to open “The Library.” This funky moment stays…I won’t question it, I won’t deny it, I won’t try to make it better…I would create a story and add it to “The Library.”

Let me share one of my very favorite books “ The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”, authored by William Joyce, and beautiful illustrations by the author and Joe Bluhm…

“Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. His life was a book on his own writing, one orderly page after another. He would open it every morning and write of his joys and sorrows, of all that he knew and everything that he hoped for.” ….

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Eko BP

craves for more adventures and connections with others through the “why” and the “how” with kindness, challenges, incompleteness, with a touch of cowardliness