The Dreaming

September 14, 2007

Vaucanson’s Duck visits the water garden, Chateau Impney

The weeks since the end of the summer session seem hazy and strange, as though my memory is floating adrift upon some unnamed sea. It’s absurd, really, just how much has happened in the space of a few months.

Visitors passed through Chicago & onward, toward numerous destinations unknown, arriving from Brooklyn, New Jersey, India, North Carolina, and Bahrain. I visited Seattle. Twice. Then the semester ended and a day later I left for England, with a 13 hour day trip to Amsterdam thrown in to season the mix. I arrived home, slept for a day and started school again; finally, exhausted and deranged by stimulation, I traveled to North Carolina to take part in a wedding a mere four days later. My every exhalation must still be touched by several climates and continents, so quickly did it all pass on by.

England was wonderful to see again, with more opportunity to visit the countryside than I’ve had before. Coventry, Warwick, Oxford, Worcester, Hemel Hampstead, London… Up above is a photo taken at the Chateau Impney Hotel in Droitwich Spa where, due to the kindness of my grandparents-in-law (and their 50 year friendship with the owner of the hotel), I was able to spend a night in extravagant splendor, with a carved stone balcony overlooking the lush landscape, milk cows and golden-hued horses. The Chateau has a wonderfully gothic history, built as an Englishman’s gift to his homesick French wife who, depression unalloyed by this well-intended simulacrum, flung herself from Impney’s highest point, to her death.

There is much to tell, and I will be posting several pictures from my travels over the coming weeks. I am also hoping to review the two books I read while on holiday, David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten and Don DeLillo’s The Names.

However, it is wonderful to be back, to finally return to the haven that is Robotic Librarian. And in case you missed it, every bibliophile and library lover ought to check out Curious Expedition’s Librophiliac Love Letter, a sumptuous visual feast that even Borges would’ve enjoyed. Here is sample photo of a Cathedral Library in Kalocsa, Hungary:

cathedral-library-kalocsa.jpg

These libraries make me lament the loss of the original Chicago library building (now the Cultural Center near Millennium Park) to today’s awkward & strangely proportioned Harold Washington –all libraries should, in their own way, large or small, inspire awe if not solemnity.

Until tomorrow, then.