Libraries will get us through times of no money better than money will get us through times of no libraries.
I don’t recall when or where I first heard that, but golly it has always rung true to me. Sort of an odd place to start a post, but believe me when I tell you that it is both relevant to current Keegan happenings and pertinent to current Keegan musings. Just bear with me.
First, in the most topical sense, Trinity’s Old Library is glorious. Consistently rated one of the most beautiful in the world and, I believe, the largest single-chamber library in the world. Interestingly, books aren’t arranged by any library system, but by size so as to maximize use of the space. Also houses the famous and gorgeous Book of Kells and one of the oldest Irish harps remaining in existence. Fun fact, Trinity is still a legal deposit library for the UK, which means that they get a copy of every single book published anywhere in the British Isles. Something like two thousand a week, or some crazy number like that. Wow.
But also, a little more directly to my life, I got a city library card on Saturday (don’t ask why I don’t just use Trinity’s, it’s complicated). Anyway, I’ve basically been holed up in my room reading contentedly for the past week. I mean, I have continued to explore and had ‘orientation,’ my time has been reading. And trust me, orientation was very boring, my actual course meeting is this Monday. Currently reading my third book since Saturday, having enjoyed all of them. So I just wanted to put in a good word for libraries because they are amazing places. A thousand dreams and a thousand lives, escapism, realism, fantasy, reality; books are the magic of this world. No offense (but actually kind of…) I have never been understood people who don’t read. You don’t have to read any particular type of book or with any particular frequency, but everyone should read. It makes us better than we were before.
So there are some words about reading. But, you’ll say, the title is about writing. What do you have to say about that?
Well, in fact, quite a bit. I enjoy writing (even blogs, as I’m learning). But there’s something particularly special about words that have actually been written. Like, physically, pen-to-paper written. Some of you may know that I write letters on occasion, and it’s something that I find a great deal of pleasure in– both composing and receiving. My grandmother sent me here with a story she had written up about my great great grandfather, who came from England with an eighth grade education and beame one of the most influential people in Pocatello, Idaho. He strikes me as someone who would have written a great deal of very eloquent letters. Naturally, I sent her a letter telling her how much I appreciated it and how I was doing here so far. Eloquent, maybe not, but I did so enjoy writing it nonetheless. An underappreciated mode of communication in an age of ample technological means of communication (says the man writing a blog). As such, I think it conveys particular sincerity and care.
So here’s my challenge for you this week: write something and send it off. Not just a quick note, either. A full page, at least, a real letter. Mind you, I struggle to do this too. But just do one. Send it to a coworker you particularly appreciate or a friend you have been meaning to thank, but keep forgetting. Or a special someone to show them they are on your mind (a certain Enchanted song comes to mind–that’s how you know). Trust me, it will make a difference for both of you. It doesn’t have to be eloquent, just honest.
Anyway, musings for the day. Take them or leave them. Fresher’s week starts on Monday. Not much else to report. Until next time.