Columbus Public Library
Columbus Public Library (Photo credit: candyschwartz)

It’s off Grant, the Columbus Public Library.  I don’t really know HOW to get here;  but I am always able to find it.  I think I can smell the books.

Walking in, you have to look UP.  Everything draws your eyes up:  the staircase, recently painted in blood oranges and navy blues…a mural about Columbus;  the ceilings inviting you to a place higher than where you are.  Walking in feels like your mind is being physically unlocked from the outside in.

Spacious.  Tables a plenty with plugs for laptops and planes for books and writing things and cell phones, on mute.

One patron;  20-something, yellow shirt screaming, earbuds connecting ears to army backpack.  He peruses the clear plastic racks of music, cds clicking as he seeks.

No more than two, she hides behind a pillar, peeking out at her father who feigns concern over her whereabouts while wandering right to her.  She squeals;  he hushes and lifts.

Thinking is infused into the atmosphere.  I think, observe, write, think…it reminds me of being in Las Vegas, where mood-altering-oxygen-bars fill weary gamblers’ lungs enabling them to go back to the slots for one more hour.  I see the picture in my book at home, “The World of Pooh,” in which Pooh Bear is stuck and repeating his mantra:  “think, think, think.”

Of course, patrons fight the thinking part:  a cell phone game is being played to my left;  a student sleeps on top of open books and half-written papers.  I fantasize about packing up to go for coffee.

Odd.  Libraries.  Treasure-troves of knowledge, art, words.  Free.

Words, my lifeblood.  An alcoholic in a liquor store. 

And still, a tension:  we learn, that in the library we receive: 

words:  to read, to consider, to inspire, to teach…

We are taught:  drink them in with your eyes.  Sort them.  Stack them.  Copy them.

And like Jesus, sternly admonishing his disciples in the Gospel of Mark after they witness a miracle, we know the drill:

Here.  Now…

Tell no one.




One comment

  1. I love the Columus Public library. Spent lots of time there while going to Cap. Aminah Robinson’s mural is wonderful as is listening to her speak.


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