I’m sitting in the library of Ohio State University in Columbus. It’s been raining for approximately 112 hours and I’m expecting to see Noah’s ark float by anytime now.
Ahh … the library. Any port in a storm.
Beyond the front door, I looked up. Five levels said hi. It felt like 500 human beings were studying, hanging out, or just generally revelling in their own existence. I asked myself what I wanted:
Alrighty then. I followed my eyes up some stairs and a wall of windows called me to the left. I entered a large oval reading room. Comfy red chairs were near the glass and I saw one with my name on it. Below me spread paths of multi-coloured umbrellas, flowing towards their destinations. I sat for several minutes, smiling.
I wondered about the lives passing left to right, right to left, coming towards, venturing away. Were those lives as rich as mine? Of course. Were they sprinkled with joys and sorrows, gains and losses, pleasures and pains? Yes. Just like me.
After a mandatory bathroom break, I returned to the oval, this time plunking myself down in a brown leather chair, about ten metres back from the red ones. And the world above opened. The umbrellas were gone somewhere below. The treetops and sky welcomed me. I rested in space.
Now it’s later.
The heavens continue to descend in a remarkably liquid way. I’m amazed that despite the availability of Google Maps, I still get lost around here. This creates a marvelous opportunity: “Excuse me, do you know where ______ is?” Invariably a smile comes back, along with a suggested route. What I love is the moment of contact, some sort of recognition of a kindred soul. Maybe when I get home, I’ll continue to ask neighbours where such-and-such a place is, but they might look at me funny.
I don’t want to write any more. I’m sure you know the feeling, whether it’s writing, talking or thinking.
See you tomorrow … on the road to home.