During a visualisation exercise recently, I saw a scene that surprised me. I was in a huge space, like a hall, perhaps, with high ceilings and wraparound floor to ceiling windows. It may have been somewhere near the top floors of a building. There were people lifting rows of huge planks of wood, constructing something in the hall. I was confused. What was I doing there? Who were these people? What were they building? I tried to guess and couldn’t. I decided to speak to someone.
I made myself walk up to one of the men. I asked him, “What are you building?”
“A bookstore,” he replied.
And then I saw what it would look like in the future: rows and rows of tall mahogany bookshelves. Fabric blinds on all the windows, to mute the sunlight, and comfortable benches near each one. A beautifully carved desk in between the books and space to meet clients: a fantas-tic place for me to write, read, coach, converse, guide.
Would it be a private bookstore? A private library, perhaps? Didn’t matter. It was eye-opening. Realisation that this would be the most perfect place i could possibly be in flooded over me. Something about that space gave me a deep sense of comfort and safety and home.
I remembered that a few weeks ago when I wasn’t well the only thing that made me feel better was the thought of being in a bookstore, surrounded by books, those things with words in them that, in all their combinations, tell a million stories and then some. It was snowing that day and what dragged me out of bed was the desire to let those collections of pieces of paper filled with imagination and passion and heart and strength and drive and desire and growth and so much more for which I can’t find the right words at this moment envelop me. How exquisite, the pleasure of reading for pleasure. What makes it so? I don’t quite know. Books are wondrous creations, they offer this sense of warmth and belonging, a space where you can be completely yourself, without fear of judgement, no matter who you are or what you’re like. A place, a world, so many worlds in which to get lost—and in which to find yourself.
“[He] went in, aware that he had, for the first time in three weeks, opened a door without hoping madly to find another world on the other side. A bell jingled overhead. The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.”
― Stephen King, ‘The Waste Lands’