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The Library of My Dreams
by Virginia Blair

In dedication to the Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center (TREC), Library for the homeless.


Do not pass the library of my dreams. Come all ye who are weary, cold, and hungry. Drifters possessing nothing, the homeless. Enter the open portals to the young, old, disabled, forgotten. A rest stop of welcome comfort to wipe tears of children, unwanted, unloved. Mothers bruised and battered from life gone wrong.

Bookshelves beckon like a Magic Carpet that will lift you airborne to exotic lands. Word-visions from fragrant temples to the Land of the Midnight Sun where the Aurora Borealis waves rainbow ribbons across the skies. Deep are the pages of laughter and tears, the sweet and the bitter, or the sparkle of stars and galaxies - finger the pages of red depth of Hades, crime, sex, drugs, and the redemption of love. The choice is yours.

Come, spacious is my magic carpet with multi-jewel toned threads and golden fringe with passengers of the street, black, white, brown, round eyes, slant eyes, no eyes at all. All abroad to the Reflection Center, a multi- haven to rest, paint, sing, dance or pray. As you wish! Hot drinks, sweet drinks, cookies, toys and crayons for a child's delight.

Unleash your frayed tunics, be naked of your woes. Turn the pages of joy that vivids the air in every picture flower, words of majestic trees that change their leaf dresses to match the varied seasons like moulting song birds, the animal kingdom that shares our land and waters. The poetry of a little child's smile or verses of weathered tired faces of the elderly. Burnt are the pages of soul kisses of many loves in strong beloved arms - faded memories not forgotten.

Do not trash the library of my life's long journey. For there you will read, refreshed from the bitter winds of life. Let the pages sooth your body temple with brotherhood wrapped in warm shawls. Come share the heavy cross that many bear-lift your praying hands of compassion to embrace all who enter this shelter.

Drop the velvet ropes, tear down the flages of prejudice that should not fly on freedom trains. Bridge the canyon of Jews, blacks, gays, the poor, disabled and unwanted.

Collect not the cobwebs at my archives. It is yours to share, when I am no longer your tour guide on the crowded fast lane thru life where brick pavement ends and mud and dust begins.

Do not trash my library, for I will pass your way just once with pen in hand to sign your entrance to a mercurial tabloid as seen thru worldly eyes that have lived, but not enough!

But most of all, my brothers and sisters, the brass ring prize waiting at this rest stop, that the shadow of my spirit to those who enter to remember, "you must believe in love"- the greatest healing power on our planet earth! So, hop abroad on the magical carpet to the library of my dreams. The ride is free to this open house dedicated to you, the homeless.

© 1992 Virginia Blair

Published in Tender Leaves, the journal of the Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center


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