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June 5, 2022: In Dreams Begin Responsibility

This is the title of a short story by Delamore Schwartz. He wrote it when he was 21. He was as a writer, a one trick pony. He kept writing but he never came up with anything quite as good. However, this story was like wind, pushing at his back, allowing him to hang out with the likes of the poet, Robert Lowell.

In this story, Schwartz, the narrator, is in a movie theatre, when on the screen, his parents appear. They who are strolling along a beach are young and in love. Schwartz, who knows what’s to come, stands up and yells, “don’t do it,” meaning continue with the romance.

I thought some about this story today, when I was in the U-Haul storage locker.

Like Schwartz’s parents, early on, I saw stars in my eyes when I began the Bright Lights Book Project. Here and there, people took books, I had no idea that in a few year’s time, we’d be inundated with books, so much so that I would not have a place to put them all.

Delivering books to U-Haul

Yes, being forewarned would have been a good thing.

I’ve been told by many that project growth should be slow and at a steady pace. The problem here is that growth is related to community recognition. And community recognition is related to donation amounts. For example, those who are now donating books say, “great job you all are doing!”

Well, we have to strike a balance between books coming in and books going out, meaning, I have to spend more time pushing books and less time sorting them.

This I will do.

Opening the orange metal door at U-Haul, then peering inside the unit, I had to squelch the impulse to turn tail and run. This was because I knew that it was going to be a long afternoon. I first had to finish sorting the books that came from Homer a month ago, and I also had to start sorting the books that Bill and Pete put in the U-Haul yesterday.

I took a deep breath and began this task at 11 a.m. I finished at 4:30 p.m. or thereabouts. I did not stop, as I should have, and taken a break. I just kept sorting.

Definition clarification: to salvage means to claim books. To sort means to group in the three generic categories, paperback fiction, hardback fiction, and hard and paperback fiction and nonfiction. To categorize means to group by like subject matter. And to distribute means to find places for the books that have been salvaged, sorted, and categorized. Name it, and it’s yours.

At the day’s end, I rolled the U-Haul courtesy cart out to the main lobby, then discovered that the door was locked. I then began banging on the door windows, hoping that some of the parking lot denizens would go and tell the office people that I was locked in their building.

Eventually, someone did go to the office and one of the office people unlocked the door. This would have been a great scene in a movie. . . .

Next: 155. 6/6/22: Thunder and Lightening

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