Sunday, August 7, 2016

Peace among the volumes

Today I was upstairs shelving and a bunch of library managers passed by on their way to a meeting. I had an unaccustomed thought: This bit of shelving gig is all right.

I have, though not frequently, been in those important meetings. I have no more against them than I have against shelving, but they require a certain worldliness. You have to pretend to care, or not.

Shelving is just shelving.

And if you want to be a cool Siddhartha on a troubled summer day in the library, the quiet, unobserved, remote fiction stacks, with a cart full of books, is the place to do it.

Also I get paid a not unreasonable amount of money for every hour I am there.

It is said "Be careful what you wish for." And I suppose in some ways I wished for this. Wouldn't it be wonderful, I surely thought, decades ago, to get more than twenty reliable dollars for every hour I spend doing something simple and inoffensive.

Of course, I wished for a host of other things as well. Some came true and some still haven't. Some never will. But that only brings home the far larger point:

It's not what wishes come true, it's what you do with them.

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