Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Good Arch Goes a Long Way

I worked for a short time in the LOC’s Madison Building, that sleeker more modern relative of the grand Jefferson. I remember insecurity stories as the security at entrances was increased, and the adventures of watching and catching the stealers among us. I thought about this a lot then – what prompts us to steal, to take from another something we want or feel we need? What creates this urgency of “security” within us, and why do our faces change when we speak of it? What motivates us to declare something of value and covet it, cherish it? Walking in those stacks of things – the tall thin metal shelving, nothing majestic about those, but fully functional – with the light glancing this way and that, whispers from lives long gone grew louder, and the noise of today rose too. When I stopped to really listen, the clamor quieted but the crowd did not disappear. Wisdom does indeed linger. Knowledge helps us know it so we can use it. The beauty of a good arch, the colors of light as it plays, the quiet that soars, the eye and equipment that capture it. All are priceless. (Energy is real.)

picture by Ferrell McCollough

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