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March 9, 2022: Hope Resurfaces

My friend Hillary modified the saying, “Build it and they will Come,” to “Build it and they will Read.” I like the second saying even better than the first because right now this pertains to my project vision.

I had originally envisioned the Bright Lights Book Project as being peripatetic – this was when we were mainly stocking bookcases and getting books out to villages.

I wonder if the Sophists were able to maintain their more freewheeling style and remain on the move by teaching on the fly. Or maybe they ended up in buildings, ones with offices. And maybe they ended up hanging out in cubicles. Cubicles – you get trained for the cubicular life when you are in school – you go to libraries to study and before you know it, boom, there you are, working for a company and sitting at a desk that is surrounded on three sides.

This would be an extreme – but our having a building would root us majorly. I first rationalized this more grounding space as being a base camp, one where in which project volunteers sorted, cleaned, categorized, and then distributed books. But my vision is such that this space may function as a bootcamp and more. The and more part – it might be a place where we hold literacy classes and writing workshops.

And it may be a place in where we have a story book out back, one with interchangeable story and pictures. And it may be a place with a reading area. And it may be a place with oh lord, dare I say it? One fish aquarium with two turtles and another with fish. Someone would have to clean it . . .

This all is anything but peripatetic.

Yesterday morning I stopped dreaming for a bit and actually became quite discouraged, for I began to think that my more grounded vision would not come to be. The borough platting process, which is going to require numerous administrative moves, seemed to me to be insurmountable.

Hope surfaced yesterday as we finished putting books in the Mat-Su Health Foundation bookcase, one that they supplied. Right as we were finishing up, a little boy went over to a lower shelf and picked out a book. It was interesting to watch his and his parents’ interactions. He was eager to pick out a book and they were hesitant. But once that book was in his hands, well, he owned it. And with ownership comes an interest in reading.

This morning, at 8:00 a.m., the owner of the Blue Mountain Building returned my call. She pretty much said that she had her doubts about the building sale. I started talking and was reminded of how I convinced Andrea Brodie to sell us Signy. In a way, then and this morning, I threw my heart over the jump.

And by the conversation’s end she’d agreed to resume the search for the key to the building. This was colossal. If we can get in there, we can continue to talk the talk. Pete can then fill in the more pragmatic gaps.

We’ll see. It takes considerable energy to maintain hope. I don’t know if I have this kind of energy. It’s sort of like holding on to a horizontal greased pole. I may find that I have superhuman strength.

68. 3/10/22: A late Winter and an Early Spring

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