I recently heard this quote by Lily Tomlin and was immediately smitten by it:
"No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."
I certainly try to keep up with my cynicism and there's plenty grist for the mill for that at the library. But unlike, say, National Politics, or "The World," the library is not, at heart, a bad place. Actually, in balance, barely, it's a pretty good place. And since it's "A pretty good place" there's a surprising amount of room to see what one expects to see. With my cynical hat on it's very easy to see wicked parents prodding their children into sad adulthoods, to check out books of broken lies to people who have given up, and to watch vast swaths of humans idly toying with nothingness on the computers until they can officially count down one more day off their rough stay in life.
But if I want to see magic, and hope, and beauty, it turns out it's right there too. Suddenly there are people on the computers raptly watching strange old footage of people playing the blues, or they're reading some ancient language no one speaks anymore, or they're learning to build a steam engine from scratch. And then, right there, walking out of the kids' room is a parent who clearly loves their kid, not in that, usually false, one-day-the-kid-will-know-it way, but in a way that surrounds the kid and makes the kid shine and fly.
And then up to the front desk comes a small 12 year old. They are checking out Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. I'm not asking this kid if they're going to read it. Of course they're going to read it! We are the impossible creation. We are the great wonders of the universe!
At least, sometimes.