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  1. Whisherwriter

    Whisherwriter New Member

    Nov 21, 2019
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    Thank You, Libraries (842 words)

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by Whisherwriter, Nov 21, 2019.

    I have always enjoyed writing, but also understand that I am not the best at it. I was taught to just keep writing to get better, but I am at the point of needing guidance. I would love any feedback in a constructive format to help me improve!!! Thank you! Here is my first post:

    Libraries. The cold and private public sector that many find strangely calming and unsettling. The massive shelves that require ladders and bravery cause one to conclude that the vast information stored within these walls contain the magnitude of human innovation and perceptions. Walking into a library causes the mundane nature of humans to disappear and creates the purpose and meaning for all of mankind.

    When the flood came, Barbra lost her son, aged 12. Nathan lost his wife, Michelle, 39. Carmen lost her brother, 22. Seneca lost her Dad, 55. Ann lost her daughter and son, 10, 13. So many others lost their loved ones, and a grief that increases the despair of living in a small, closed off town. The world’s eyes saw them for a moment, a glimpse into their grief. The world was curious: How will Burkeville, Utah, recover from such destructive flood? Yet, as weeks went by, the news channels left, the world forgot, and the community of Burkeville started to retreat to repair.

    When the Burkeville Dam collapsed under the increased pressure of snow water, and little maintenance, the city had no warning to evacuate. As the waters came down into the former mining valley, it destroyed everything in its path. It took 236 lives and injured many more. The housing was almost entirely lost. Houses dating back to the mid-1800s, gone. The local convenience store-gone. Both of the gas stations- gone, and dangerous for three days till they could get workers back in to turn off the pumps. If it survived, everything had water damage: lungs, basements, yards, etc. Yet, somehow- one building remained untouched. A building people are now in love with and see as their home and community builder.

    The people of Burkeville found their Carnegie library untouched by the flood. Curious, as it is at the same level as everything else, and is in the center of town surrounded by the worse destruction, the building was unscathed, unshattered, and preserved from the horrors of this town. Many people spend a night or two in this building in the days after the flood. It doubled as a clinic and a morgue until Burkeville could pass them onto a better establishment.

    As Burkeville started to rebuild its life- the town surrounded the library. They held school there till the school was rebuilt. They held community planning there to rebuild. They held game nights. Church. Parent-relief nights. Offices. Dinners. Food pantries. Grief groups. The list goes on and on. The came together and they rebuilt.

    Many years later, school had their building, church was church, homes were homes, and people continued with their life. No one forgot about the Library. Parents and children alike found solace in spending hours there looking for and reading books. Seneca read through the entire series of Harry Potter for the first time in her life understanding what love actually meant, and even though she lost her Dad, love still was with her. Barbara read a biography of Abraham Lincoln and healed while he healed from the loss of his son. Carmen read Bridge to Terabithea, and remembered the many adventures and trouble she and her brother got into growing up. She healed. Ann read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, capturing the true nature of grief and how it grows you and helps you understand your place and value. The library and its books helped countless others.

    The library is a sacred place, a holy place for many. It is a place one gets lost in themselves while getting lost in others. They process, learn, teach, commit to themselves to change based on what they read. Literature changes you. It changes perspectives, understanding, acceptance of what is instead of what could be. The permanent nature of literature- Moby Dick, Christmas Carrol, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Pygmalion, Mere Christianity, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings, Junie B Jones, Harry Potter; they are all permanent in us. They are what they are. Elizabeth marries Darcy. Frodo destroys the ring. Elisa learns. Tom Robinson is killed. Scrooge no longer hates. We are able to expect great thing from Mr. Potter. They are all permanent, unchanging- unlike our lives.

    Our lives so often seem scathed with tragedy, loss, hurt, frustrations. We have to learn to cope, learn to have hope. Literature teaches us this; art teaches us this! This library for Burkeville promoted this hope, this yearning for the unchanging. Maybe the strong desire for consistency in life is an inerrant part of the human condition.

    People in Burkeville years later wonder what it was that saved the library. Some accept that it will remain a great mystery. Yet, many say that there is an unchanging being that had a hand in saving it, and it gives them hope. But we can all agree that libraries hold a sanctity to them that we all wish we could bottle up and sell at the local market. We want the comfort, the ease, the organization, the peace, the healing.

    Thank you libraries.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    Welcome! I'm one of the mods here. If you haven't had a chance to yet, be sure to check out New Member Quick Start and Forum Rules, and don't be shy about contacting me or one of the other active mods (jannert and Ian Aschendale at the moment) if you have any questions or problems.

    You'll need to have two weeks' membership, twenty posts (which include two constructive critiques of others' writing) before you can post work for critique- and that will need to go in the workshop, but until then, feel free to poke around and jump into any one of the numerous discussions that are ongoing here. Those initial requirements will fly by.

    jannert likes this.
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