19 August 2008

little worlds



it happens every time we go to the library. I tell the kids only two books. okay, three. okay, seven. and then there I am on the fourth floor, lost in my favorite aisle, my own arms heavy with a ridiculous amount of books, more than I could ever possibly read. my eyes are bigger than my stomach, my appetite voracious. why why why did I not bring a book bag? or a wheelbarrow? a wheelbarrow would be the just the thing. plus, I like the idea of us maneuvering a wheelbarrow full of books down 10th avenue, wobbly and grinning like idiots. I like that idea very much.

I allow myself to check out as many as I can carry. I check them all out because I want each one at my disposal. ready at any given moment, stacked sweetly just beneath my turquoise wooden desk and so available, deliciously available. I want options. I want access to this world and that one, I want the insides cracked open bit by bit or all at once. I want to leisurely thumb through one and then put it down for a week, I want to read three books at the same time. this is the same line of reasoning that has me packing 12 pairs of shoes and 5 different cameras for a weekend getaway. I want options.

I check books out over and over again and half expect to get a note from the library that says, really? again with this book? I admit, I do this because I can. the thing is, I own many, many books. between me and the mister, there's no shortage of books, we are swimming in books, we are mr. and mrs. book lovers of america but the library books, they are something different. they smell different. old and sweet like cigar boxes. they smell like knowledge. and possibility.

right now, I am all about possibility. I'm reading about art and writing and photography and dance, looking at these things in completely different ways. I'm realizing how intricately intertwined and elemental these things have become for me. I'm reading about teaching, I'm thinking about teaching, things are opening up, new developments are in the works and I'm excited, so incredibly excited, more excited than I've been in a long, long time. I'm writing about these ideas and I'm typing so fast that ava says it looks like my fingers are dancing. and I don't even know how to type but she's right. books are flying open and pages are turning and eyes are scanning and ideas are dancing, minds are spinning. worlds are about to shift and change in small and maybe not so small ways. and the books, they continue to feed me like nothing else can. they sit at my feet and they wait to be opened. they wait for greatness.

64 comments:

  1. You express the excitement of library books so beautifully. I can smell that sweet, musty smell of the old hardbacks. And I feel the excitement and anticipation of the changes coming into your life, part and parcel of all you're reading about. Really a lovely post.

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  2. oh dear, my friend, your magic with words is so very deep and wide.

    i miss you :)

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  3. oops, apparently, pickleboy was using my computer today!...previous message really from me :) (although he misses each and every one of you, too)

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  4. i oftentimes have this same feeling. what is different about you and i, however, is that you run with your ideas; mine get stuck amid school work, or between the pages of one of the books i was in the middle of, or somewhere between the house and a random destination (perhaps falling between the seats).
    at any rate, if you need a teaching counterpart east a bit, please send word!!

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  5. I am exactly the same with loaning library books... in australia the limit is 30 items, a dangerous thing! haha Here in the UK it's a more reasonable 8... but I always seem to be maxed out.

    I read a great book recently, which came to mind when reading your post, especially with the emergence of 'teaching'...

    "The Treehouse" by Naomi Wolf...
    It's about many things... but the main themes are living a creative life, parenting, and teaching...
    I think it would be a great book for anyone wanting to move into teaching.

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  6. Oh my heavens, how did we NOT talk about this in person?? I'm excited for you -- really, really.

    Change, baby. It's in the damned air.

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  7. oh! i feel the very same way about the library and library books. so full of possibility. and i love the photo that accompanies this post.

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  8. A kindred spirit! I love this post :) I have been loving your site for a while now, but this post has gotten me to respond. Keep up the great work!

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  9. that is the perfect way to describe the library. books have always been my gateway to the world. beautiful words my friend and i'm excited to hear more as your adventures unfold!

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  10. "A wheelbarrow would be the just the thing." I agree! I agree!

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  11. i always hit the library too. even though i have a few (ahem) unread books at home. so much exciting energy in this post. xoxo

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  12. wow.
    this post bursts with beauty.
    & your words bowl me over!

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  13. I, too, suffer from a huge library addiction. The smell, the tiny isles, the random subjects, the piles and piles of books, the sweet librarians, the wonderful feeling of being lost amongst great literary friends.
    Wonderful post. I just love how you write! You inspire me.

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  14. jennifer (dreemintrea)August 20, 2008 6:45 AM

    this is, quite possibly, the most beautiful post i've read of yours, dear gh! i agree so wholeheartedly. i'm in the middle of 4 books right now...gracious. and library books..the smell?....yes. yummers. have you heard of paperbackswap.com? check-check-checkitout.

    enJOY your options...and possibilities.

    :)

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  15. What a lovely expression of your appreciation of library books. This entry truly touched me. I am a librarian and plan on sharing this with my colleagues. Thank you for writing what I have a hard time expressing in words.mon

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  16. I thought it was just me who checked out the same book repeatedly...can't help it. Love the inspiration.

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  17. so funny as i just signed up for a library card... i'm sure i will be doing the same thing [and there's no shortage of books here either]

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  18. What lovely imagery!

    My hubby types so very fast (he's a software guy and does it all day) that it makes me giggle with delight, remembering when I would sit at my mom's typewriter and pretend I was Lois Lane.

    Ahhh, thank you.

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  19. Hi Andrea. I just popped over here via Ward's site and I have to say that in my quick little view of your first page here...I was blown away! What wonderful photos, and what colorful and joyous life you're making for yourself. You and Ward both. Sheesh.

    I am inspired! Thank you!

    All best,
    ~paige

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  20. A post like this is why I love your blog.

    A wheelbarrow, now why didn't I think of that? Since I don't have one handy, I might try my kid's Radio Flyer wagon that never gets used instead.

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  21. i think i live one of the same worlds as you... or close by... that post felt like one i could have written...and oh, i have not written like that in a long while. i miss the days of sitting outside...or by a window...and writing as if my life depended on it... as if it were as natural as breath itself. and libraries...and books...ooh books... i am the same... there are too many things that you said that i feel too to recount in a short(ish) comment. i'm getting that bubbling inspired feeling as i write this...i think i may save or print your post and read it over again...and keep it near...like my (and your) piles of books...

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  22. You are I are kindred spirits in the library. Sometimes I think I should bring a cart or something else to carry all the books I want to check out. Your words are so perfect!

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  23. It's like you've born witness to my home and head. The library is one of my most favorite places on the planet. Beautifully, beautifully put!

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  24. Wow - now I can't wait to hear and see what comes of all this percolating! Enjoy the great creative whirlwind!

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  25. you make me cry, darn you and all of your passion!
    you do not even understand how beautiful your blog is. i am a newer reader and today before work i had to print a few pages to take on the road. i could not get enough! you are so inspiring.

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  26. I so needed to read this right now. I just renewed my li
    brary books online and there were,gulp....45 of them! I was feeling oh so ..well...goofy. What a book pig I am. And then reading your words made me feel so much better. I love to have a stack of huge library books to thumb thru whenever the mood strikes.Today the girls and I rode bikes to the library which limits us to only a small amount of book-booty. The Bell Jar made the cut, and The Picture Of Dorian Gray would have if somebody hadn't gotten to it before me. Oh well, next time Oscar Wilde...next time.

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  27. love this post am going to read it again and again and again...

    your words are so true to little old me on the other side but slightly to the right or is it left?

    anyway, I am so glad your blog found me.

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  28. What an outstanding post on books!
    Really awesome!

    Thank you oh so much for sharing it.

    Hugs,

    Bin.

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  29. wonderfully put, andrea! rama has brought the library back into my life, and i am wondering what i ever did without it.

    i can only imagine what a fantastic teacher you'd make. i already learn so much about creativity and color and family and beauty from you! xo

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  30. jen {she saw thingsAugust 20, 2008 10:45 PM

    mmmmmm, yes!
    i cannot wait to meet you!
    xo,
    jen

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  31. as i try to clumsily say what my visits to the library have been like for these past few weeks as summer is ending (no!), you say it so eloquently, and (seemingly) effortlessly! you rock. :)

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  32. I'm a book lover too, it's awesome!

    Thank you for opening up and being yourself, it is so encouraging and inspiring when you're trying to do the same. :o)

    What will you be teaching if you are able to say?

    Keep the energy & enthusiasm going, it will take you a long way!

    Nancy
    Southern CA

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  33. You are an amazing writer. The way you make words swirl and dance and pop open and then slowly creak at just the right moment. Teach me, oh teach me to write as eloquently as you do...

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  34. I love this post! I am a librarian as well, so it makes my heart smile:)

    I'd love to hear some of your favorite titles right now.
    Cheers
    Kari

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  35. I always love reading your posts, and so understand your time spent in library! We always come out with way more books then we could possibly read!

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  36. this is so, so great, and speaks to my heart. :)

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  37. Check out my post about libraries.
    http://cocktailmoms.blogspot.com/2008/06/libraries-are-incredible.html
    You are doing a good thing by checking out books over and over again. Your "voice" is being heard that way.

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  38. I agree completely...I feel so greedy at the library.

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  39. Oh Andrea, I love to read too. I love to read you. You leave me speechless because you're expressing things in a way I would never be able to. Oh how I love to read you!

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  40. i was at the library just this afternoon. i could only carry four books out, because i got the really big, heavy ones. the huge hardcover coffee-table ones that you never allow to buy yourself.

    your post is wonderful. if you'd write a book, i think none of us would go to the library to get it. we'd all buy it to have it at home for us to read in it whenever we wanted to.

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  41. Me too I love library! There's so many books around and I like the silence they have.. It's just comfortable. I'm not so much miss books but I like going there. It's a while I don't go there. Indeed, I miss there..

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  42. Love this post. You put it exactly right.

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  43. I have just found your beautiful blog via Oh Happy Day. This post makes me excited and inspired, your writing is so passionate and full of life. Stunning.

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  44. You really take amazing photographs - what kind of camera do you have?!

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  45. This post is magical - I love it - it captures exactly my love of books ... my greediness for all they contain and promise ...

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  46. I bought a bag from my local library to support their educational programming. I allow myself to check out whatever will fit in the bag. But sometimes i make two trips ;-)

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  47. oh my. could this really be the first time on your blog? perhaps, perhaps. seems strange but I have been known to lapse like this. so very unfortunate. perhaps it's the sun in marrakech.

    let me just say, in a word: so very lovely. okay, so that was three but i always was a liar.

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  48. Oh! I am so excited for you, Andrea. I love being excited about potential, about possibilities, about ideas, about creativity. It's such a rush.

    I work in a library, and I love smelling the books. sometimes I come across a particularly wonderful-smelling one, and it's usually from the 1800s or early 1900s. It just...it smells like knowledge and wisdom, and makes me hope that when I'm very old and very grey, I'll have even more shelves and shelves of books, be continually surrounded by thoughts and ideas.

    I'm rambling - but I guess I just wanted to say that I completely understand - and I love what you write, how you write it. (and whenever people ask me, tentatively, anxiously, how many books they're allowed to check out, my answer is always the same: "As many as you can carry!" I love seeing faces light up at those words.)

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  49. your energy and enthusiasm is palpable! I love it Hula...that your fingers are dancing right along with your heart.

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  50. I am the same way. My husband complains that I always seem to find the heaviest books the library has and must truck them all home at the same time. I can't help it. I love our library. I love being in there smelling the books. I love finding books I never thought to look for. It's like a treasure hunt for me. I always find something yummy and wonderful at the library.

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  51. oh yes, i so hear this. i have gone through times in my life where i live in the library. so many of them are housed in older buildings too - wouldn't it be lovely to stay there for a few nights? ever see that old movie of the girl that got locked in the library overnight? i always dreamed that could be me :)

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  52. oh yes, also, how exciting about teaching! i wish we could have met up when you were in SF last - next time for sure :)

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  53. I'm here for the first time. You have gorgeous photos full of life.

    I usually end up doing the same thing at the library... they tend to do a trick on you.

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  54. "Women, as well as men, in all ages and in all places, have danced on the earth, danced the life dance, danced joy, danced grief, danced despair, and danced hope. Literally danced all these and more, and danced them figuratively and metaphorically, by their very lives."

    - Margaret Laurence in Dance on the Earth: A Memoir

    read this today and thought of you.

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  55. aww you sound like me and my girls...we go home 12 books later for each of us.....fLOVE reading!
    tara

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  56. I love your blog and find it so inspiring. Thanks so much for posting such amazing pictures/stories.
    Just wanted to say that I've linked frokm my blog (http://lovingrobots.blogspot.com/) to yours and hope that's cool :)

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  57. Such a great post! Makes me think of being in middle school and walking 6 blocks to the library every week or so to check out 8 books at a time. I was so into reading that I'd sometimes try to read one of the books on the way home - awkwardly carrying this full tote bag, while walking with my head in a book. I still get swept up in the possibilities that open up while exploring one thing that leads to another and another and another...
    Ahhh, such goodness.

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  58. your photos are amazing and your children are beautiful.

    just a quick question - what camera do you use?

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  59. Your words are beautiful.

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  60. Oh! That was lovely. You've inspired me to get up early and write tomorrow. And maybe pay my library late fees.

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  61. thank you for your beautiful words and feelings..

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