Friday, January 20, 2012

The Interpretation of Dreams

Not to go all Freudian on you, but have you ever wondered what your dreams mean?
The other night I had a dream that I was in our old library building.
Now we have this brand spanking new library that is up-to-date, state of the art, but like a lot of contemporary architecture lacks warmth.
Here's the current building:

Lots of room, on a good-sized piece of property (donated by a local family), and room to expand if necessary.
Tons of books, and computers all on one floor.
And I love the library, I do, but it's lacking something.
Kind of like contemporary church structures - big and open, but lacking feeling.
Sure it's a pretty picture, and I love the books, but it doesn't feel cozy.
Our old library was housed in a Victorian home owned by a prominent 19th Century citizen.
Here's the old library which is now the current Village government building:

That extension on  the eastern side was added in the 80s (or 70s, I can't recall exactly), but it was in this building that I really came to love reading.
Outside of my first grade classroom, of course.
The second floor was, and still is, used as the Village museum, so only the ground floor was open to patrons on a daily basis - and oh how cozy it was.
Cramped yes, but definitely cozy.
The main room was filled with oak bookshelves, tables, and chairs, and the librarians always encouraged everyone to take as many books as we wanted. Seriously. I used to go there in the summer for the week-long activities, and I recall one librarian whose name escapes me (but it was a male librarian, I do remember that) who told us that if we wanted we could bring a wagon everyday to the library and fill it with books.
I still think about that when I go to certain libraries and they have a limit as to how much you can check out.
I like libraries with no limits.
But adjacent to the stairs in our old library - and just by the entrance - was where I would always find the books I wanted to read some of which are probably not stocked by libraries anymore.
I would read Rosamund du Jardin's novels over and over - the quintissential 1940s/1950s books about young women and growing up.
Sure, life wasn't like that for me, I was a product of the 70's, but I loved those books - and I still do.
I remember leaning against the staircase and turning the upright book rack looking for a paperback that caught my eye, or browsing through the hardcover books on the built in shelves.
You know how you imprint a certain memory or place in your mind and use that as the basis for all future comparable locations?
That's how it is for me with our old library.
I know that's an unfair distinction, and no libraries look like this one did, but for me, it was the best library ever.
Which probably explains why I dreamt about it.
Only problem is, why was I wearing my bathrobe while I was there?

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