A few weeks ago I noticed that a co-worker seemed really quiet and not in her usual jokey mood, so I asked her if she was okay and we had a brief (really brief) conversation about things in her life that were bumming her out. Tonight she made a point of coming over to me and telling me that she was feeling better. Then she said, “it really meant a lot that you were paying enough attention to ask me about it.”

When she said that, I realized that there was a point in my life when I would not have asked, because to do so would have seemed invasive. I would have thought, “this person, who I hardly know, does not want me getting involved in her personal life.” Or I’d have worried that I would get insulted by having my good intentions rebuffed with a short answer.

But then I went through a period when I was really, really sad all the time. I was desperate for someone to see my sadness, and ask about it, and treat me like my feelings mattered. I didn’t have a lot of close friends, but I kept hoping that someone would care enough to ask. And when no one did, I started to feel invisible—a feeling that the compass of my depression always swings back to. The feeling of not being important enough to be noticed. 

So when I asked my co-worker about her off demeanor, I wasn’t thinking about whether the question was too personal (though I would have understood if she didn’t want to talk about it), or whether asking would somehow end in embarrassment for me (I have selfish thoughts like this a lot). Instead, I was thinking: I see your hurt, and I want you to know that you’re important enough to be noticed even by people who hardly know you. 

I never thought about it this way until tonight, but my instinct has always been to put caution before compassion. I have been too distant from friends I should have been more supportive of, either because I was being selfish about my own feelings or because I was afraid of presuming too much intimacy with them. But I’ve realized recently that it doesn’t matter how close our friendship is, it doesn’t matter if I’ve known them for years or if we’ve just met. It’s just about saying, you friend, you co-worker, you fellow blogger on the internet, are important to somebody. The quality of your existence matters.

That’s what I needed, and that’s what I need to give.

Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State

The Rhode Island Library Association presented their Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State 2014 calendar (that’s now sold out).

Libraries are unique as they simultaneously foster the preservation of histories and traditions, while fighting censorship and fostering cutting-edge learning environments. Likewise, tattoos can also represent the preservation of history and resistance of the norm. The twelve librarians and library workers featured in this calendar represent just a few of the many working professionals who are proud of their career, their ink, and the stories they tell.

submitted by Fer1972.

Now Bookporn wants to know how many librarians are here on tumblr! Share your library portraits/selfies with us!

Hotel #23 (homesick)



I no longer have two hearts beating in my chest.
I have three hearts beating in my chest.
I think four more in my belly.
It changes.

I can feel the booming,
the shaking,
through my body.

I have dozens of tiny hearts,
in my ankles 
and toes.

I can feel them when I stand
still. I stand
still a lot - 

Here in this rented room,
In this town with a dry-erase name.

I have no heart in my head,
just a gray mass,
a gray mess,
that does not move.

It stands still a lot, too.

It quivers
But only when you shake it,
like a hug or
a homemade cake or 
a really soft cat.

It does nothing 
on its own.

It is told what to do 
by the hundreds of hearts,
growing in
and out
of me.

Even the 20 
or so 
strung across my chest 
in a bandolier -

Thick, throbbing bullets
I can fire 
when I need to.
But mostly I do not,
because the gun
takes so long to load
and even longer to clean.

Plus, I have been drunk 
all night
and my aim 
is pretty bad.

So I place a couple of 
empty red shells
in a couple of 
empty silver cups,

Walk down the carpet highway
lined with a forest of 
numbered flat trees.

I caress a plastic button 
that has a triangle on it.

The wall opens and I stand 
in a room as 
my breath drops 
below me,
and later it rises
above me.

When a bell rings
strangers stand about,
without meaningful words,
and I do not look at them
as a common courtesy,
for they have respected my 
space by turning their backs to me.

We all pretend to ignore the 
pounding sound
and the red round stain 
growing beneath my feet.

We ride the world together
up and down
until we do not.

It is night, or it is not.
They step out; I do not.
I will stay here
in this box
Until I can not.

I do not know where I am.
I know where you are.
There is a beating like clicking.
Like a clock.
Like a thing that counts days.

I can do this.
I can do this.



Good afternoon, springtime! Wind turbine says hello.

Today I got to walk down by the river, around this meadow on a hill, and around town. I saw two deer go bounding ahead of me. I took my socks and shoes off. It smelled like spring. 
I waited for you, and here you are.


Good afternoon, springtime! Wind turbine says hello.

Today I got to walk down by the river, around this meadow on a hill, and around town. I saw two deer go bounding ahead of me. I took my socks and shoes off. It smelled like spring. 


I waited for you, and here you are.

For National Poetry Month this year I’ve decided not to attempt a 30/30 writing challenge but instead to make a conscious effort to read more poems. And not just read them, but think about them. A lot. And write some notes about what they’re saying and how they say it, and how do they get from that image to these word, and why is that so powerful. I don’t think I can get much further with my own writing until I devote myself to absorbing more of what’s been written by others, and this is a good month for making a dedicated effort to do that. So I won’t be participating in 30/30, but I’m looking forward to reading whatever you all create and post and reblog!

hi friends, question for you all: 

when you want to reward yourself, aka treat yo’self, what are some ways to do that other than with food or retail therapy? What are your non-consumer treats?