January 21, 2019 by readlisaread
I was out for a walk today in a nearby town. It’s a small, sea-side community, mostly retirees, and many of them were out for a walk on this rare sunny day in late January. As I rounded a corner, a large metal and wood structure, covered in yellow caution tape caught my eye. At first. I thought it was some sort of art installation, and my second glance seemed to confirm it, decorated with some sort of free-form glass panels…
But upon closer inspection, I realized this wasn’t art at all… in fact, it was the opposite of art, it was destruction. The “installation” had actually been a community free library, and had only been added to the park a few weeks before. Sometime in the wee hours, someone had set fire to it. The heat from the burning books was so intense it melted the glass panels. So not only were all the books lost, so too was the sweet little structure that represented community, literacy and art.
As I stood reflecting, several other people gathered and I could hear them commenting with attitudes ranging from dismay to vitriol. Despite the very real feelings of grief and outrage I felt (and that’s not even drawing connections to planned book burning) I put my hand out and carefully touched one of the erstwhile glass panels. “But isn’t this beautiful….” I thought.
And that’s it, isn’t it, gentle reader? Something you value can be destroyed, and you grieve its loss, but there can also be beauty that follows. I have to believe that.
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