All weekend my husband and I worked on the library, putting up walls, hanging doors, painting and doing all the fiddly bits that you think will take five minutes but end up costing you half a day. We did this through blistering heat, through a storm and with a six month old puppy dancing around our feet. I’m still working to get books shelved, and to get my workstation set up just so. The reason for the urgency is two-fold: first, working on the library, as much as I love the toil, is taking me away from writing. Writing is my shoreline, and the further away I am from that shore the harder I have to swim to get back there. I still have a way to go before I hit the limits of this writing respite, but already I can feel that urgency a writer gets that tells her she’s swimming too far into the deep and it’s time to start the journey back to terra firma. I guess that’s why I’m here writing this post now – my molecules are demanding satisfaction from a session at the escritoire. The second reason for the urgency is that this Saturday, 5th December, is the day of the libraries “official” opening. Really it’s just an excuse to have a wee party and catch up with friends before Christmas: good company, good food and a good atmosphere.
There is a feeling in the garden and library of comfort. It has nothing of the forced silence of a university library and nor the calamity of a public library. You can eat, sing or dance in here if you want to. There’s even a pool table, great for smacking the cue ball around when the muse is being difficult, or to stimulate the blood flow when you’ve been sitting too long. I suspect I will use it when I need to “roll” thoughts around in my mind. You can pick up a musical instrument and pluck, hoot, thrum or whistle along with the eclectic styles coming through the surround sound system. And of course you can pick up a book, or several, and retreat to one of several corners to sink into the pages: there’s the huge Ontario one seater with matching Ottoman, or any of three large cushions, there’s the swinging three-seater out in the garden or cushioned benches. You can make yourself a cuppa, or grab a cold drink or biscuit. Of course I don’t imagine anyone other than myself doing too often: it is, after all, my own private playground, designed and developed to my own tastes. I suspect when I’m done, it will look more like a large curiosity cabinet than a library. I will be the eccentric writer-lady who lives under the house in a mini-museum with her crazy music and equally crazy dog.