While I was trying to write something about IBD and was stuck, I distracted myself with Amy Hempl’s new book, The Art of the Wasted Day, which was on the top of a leaning tower of books on the corner of my desk. It is Hempl’s musings on the freeing power of daydreaming and allowing your mind to surprise you when you don’t have it overburdened. Early in the book is the following from Virginia Woolf (from Moments of Being)
“If life has a base that it stands upon, if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills—“.
And there was the gift. Because if Woolf is correct, and I believe she is, one of the better ways we fill and fill and fill our bowls is by reading. I always think (and am certainly not original in the thought) of books as rooms we enter. The best thing about each room being the proliferation of doors leading to other rooms. The book leads to thinking about something that leads to a door, which we did not know was there, and a book within that door which leads elsewhere, and we fill and fill as we go. Until twenty minutes ago I did not know that Virginia Woolf quote. And now it will live in me forever. A gift from her to me via Amy Hempl.
What we attempt to offer to you at Arcadia is a room full of doors to transport and change you and help you to fill and fill your bowl. Thank you for your many kindnesses and support for us in our first seven years. Come in and let us know what books have moved you recently, and look around for an hour or two. Remember the words of the great American poet William Stafford, “…wherever you are, there’s another door.”