Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Heart that Hurts is a Heart that Works

I am on my way to the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association. There will be hundreds of librarians, vendors, and others attending the meeting for all kinds of reasons. I'm excited to learn things, see people, do the business of my institution, do the business of the association.

This meeting coincides with inauguration day, and that adds a thick, complex layer to the happenings. We'll be in Atlanta, a beautiful, diverse, and vibrant city, and I am sure that we won't be isolated from the mood of the city. And we will be bringing our own thoughts and feelings about the day with us.

I want to share this for all of us attending sessions, meetings, the vendor floor, and for everyone else as well:

Grief teaches you a lot of things. Grief has been one of the best, wisest, and most devoted teachers in my life. I am grateful for my grief, for it's lessons and it's companionship. I want to try to give you a lesson that grief has given me. An important lesson that took a long time to learn. A hard lesson. A lesson for these times.

This feeling doesn't go away. You can't stay here. 

This feeling will be with you, but it is time for you to pack your things and go. There is work to do. A lot of work to do. To prepare for the days to come. The feeling will be with you then, too. You'll learn to pack it neatly alongside your tools and clothes. To give it a look now and again and get back to work. But the time is over for trying to hold it and know it and make it go away.

You've had a time, to start. 
There will be times along the way. 
But we need to go. 
It's too late already.

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