Monday, November 26, 2012


The morning appeared gray and cold.  Not a good day to stay at home alone.  The Winter Garden at the Harold Washington Public Library on the other hand was luminous.  Blue walls, green plants, a domed skylight: the sun filtered through around 11 a.m. while I sat at a table reading and writing.  The silence was broken occasionally by a tourist taking photos or a staff member click-clacking her high heels on the marble floors.  If you haven't been there, don't miss it.  

I read a couple of travel essays to prepare for the class on Thursday, jotted down notes for future research, and skimmed through The Writer's Chronicle.  I breathed deeply in an effort to quiet down my insides, to be in sync with the outside: peaceful surroundings, light and airy.  

The cold temperatures and grey skies of Chicago in Winter have become more and more unbearable as the years go on.  One would think that I'd be used to them by now.  But no!  I need sun and warmth.  And with the sadness brought on by recent events, these ugly days are intolerable.  I must find a source of contentment soon or...I'll have to go to Florida for the Winter.  Or Argentina. 

Libraries are one of my most favorite places to spend time.  I can get lost between the stacks, reading book spines sideways, browsing, reading.  Sometimes I go to the DePaul University library near my house to borrow books or sit and read in one of the comfortable arm chairs scattered around the 4th floor.  I've even been known to take a nap in the quiet space.  

This morning I looked for a book I want to read: Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel.  I was sure it would be in the library.  I was looking forward to taking it to the Winter Garden but no such luck.  The book seems to be available only In digital format.  What's that about?!  I certainly hope that libraries and print books don't go out of style any time soon.  What will I do on cold, grey days in Chicago?

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