An island on LG4 in the library.
At least, that’s what you’d like to think about this wooden table sitting in a corner facing the sea at 9 a.m. The floor is nearly empty, save for the presence of the cleaning staff, the low hum of the air conditioning, the occasional cough of another student poring over books and notes.
And of course – your own books and notes inhabit this otherwise barren island. There they sit in a pile: keys to unlocking the mysteries of nature, of life, of human relations. A water bottle stands alone in a separate corner of the table (island), like a lighthouse peering out into the world. Two pens comprise the population: makers of voices, thoughts, decisions, knowledge.
But then…the view. Yes, the view. And what a view it is from this island: beyond the windows, flowers bloom with their shades and tints of pink and magenta and fuchsia and violet and purple. And farther beyond – the sea, dotted with other islands in the distance, draped with trees and rising from the waters like loaves of bread. (But who is the baker?) A boat drifts somewhere in front, beneath the thick gray and white pallor of overcast skies and impenetrable clouds. A hawk floats across the scene, animating the stillness with its soaring wings and aimless direction.
You like this island. It is a temporary one, to be sure, but here in the psuedo-silence of things (for now the birds are rehearsing their symphonies) it is peaceful and calm. And yet, it is precisely that: an island. A landmass so distant from other islands – of rock and earth? of life and existence? – that it appears to be a missing puzzle piece. One of a thousand distinct pieces, painted with its own glimpse of flowers and islands and notes and pens and water bottles…
So where does it fit? How can it fit at all – does time change the shape of a puzzle piece, change where it belongs? Even the very presence of an island must point at the existence of a larger world somewhere else. But how do you make that connection…?
The pen. You pick it up from its place atop the pile of notes and start to write. Scribble. Draw. It’s not a great sketch, but it is a start. The pen merges its scrawls and signs with your thoughts and ideas, and somehow it builds a raft, large enough to carry that weight somewhere, anywhere. And now the raft drifts at the edge of your island, along the shore, and something about it makes you want to ride it into the sea, to other islands in the distance…
And why not? This is, after all, an island on LG4 in the library. At least, that’s what you’d like to think about this wooden table sitting in a corner facing the sea at 9 a.m.