I sat in a chair, in a beam of sunlight, in a room full of tall windows. The orange sunlight of early evening shone through the orange, yellow, and red leaves of the tree outside making it look like a stained glass window. Or stained glass windows are made to look like sunshine through autumn leaves.
For a small public library in a small island town there were many people milling around. I wondered where it was they were not going. Why were they here instead?
The man there, reading the newspaper, was he just biding time till something else? The woman in the boho dress and Ugg style boots that I caught inspecting the pattern on her own sleeve, she didn't seem to be fully engrossed in this moment, was her mind elsewhere? The older woman who pulled out some purple knitting from her tote bag and set to work, why did she choose to knit here, in the little library, in the little island town? Another woman walked to her, beginning a conversation from a few strides away, without hesitation or apology or invitation pulling the nearest chair over, creating a ninety degree angle between them both.
If someone were to set eyes on me in that moment they would have seen a tired woman, laptop open in front of her, listening to something through earbuds connected to the cell phone at her side. Her hair disheveled, eyes framed in worry as she occasionally sighed and looked up from her glowing screen, gazing out the window, lost in thought.
My mind in those moments was wandering the streets of delusions, paranoia, organized crime, family responsibility, and the fine line between what a mind can believe is truth and actual truth. And again, my sensitive heart feels everything on a deeper level so I'm stricken with worry. There is a struggle in the mind that can be easily dismissed by lack of compassion or understanding. But I understand. I understand the darkness that blurs reality. I know that it can become massive and overpowering, and perhaps I only understand a fraction of it through personal experience but I know enough to not be able to dismiss it.
Little libraries in little towns close mighty early. I packed up my things, took one last look around, and headed for the door. Outside the air was crisp, the sun fading. Autumn is in full glory in the Pacific Northwest.