Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Library

At the moment I am sitting.

In the school library. I am struck by how a place overflowing with both information and art can be so effective at crushing inspiration. Sure you may be inspired by what you read here, but the place itself crushes even the smallest bit of creative energy that I may have had when I walked in.

First of all, our library is a basement.

With pink and grey walls. As in most libraries you have to be quiet here, and the rows of brown shelves, brown desks, and brown chairs can sometimes overwhelm you with a sense of...brown. It feels small and enclosed and even people watching is rather uninteresting here since everyone is just quietly studying and doing nothing eccentric. The only good people watching is when someone does something embarrassing such as trip while running too fast down the stairs or get stuck in the turnstyle because their fob didn't work. And since I'm usually the one that things like this happen to, I don't get the opportunity of watching from afar as these embarrassing events transpire.

So. The library is not really the place for me. I much prefer to do my studying in busy coffee shops,on a noisy train, or in a colorful park. The pink and grey walls do little to encourage me in my academic and creative pursuits, especially when compared to the wonder of the wide open blue sky, the smell of leaves and grass in the fall, or the plethora of interesting people that one sees out and about in the city. While oftentimes these things can be distracting, I think that distractions are sometimes helpful, and more often than that they are inspirational. I certainly have never been inspired by staring at a grey wall or a beige copy machine, but rather by my encounters with other people and in experiencing the beauty and magnificence of God's creation.

The library is useful.

But the rest of the world is beautiful. Chicago is my campus, and most of my learning happens outside of the pink basement walls of the library. I could continue.

But I'm in the library.

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