Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Connor Library

I have always imagined that Paradise
will be a kind of library.
-Jorge Luis Borges

The Freeman House library. My dark, heavy-furnitured, European-salon, cigar-and-newspapers-surrounded-by-walls-and-walls-of-books sort of library is on its way. It should be completed soon save the restoration to the enormous fireplace. Still trying to find someone to take that on.

Anyhow, the library. It's called the "Connor Library" in honor of the family who owned the home at the turn of the century. The large room is to your right once you're standing in the entry hall of Freeman House. The room... it's square, has three doors and four enormous windows, and faces east. Beautiful morning light. It all sits about 5 feet off the ground, so peering out of the thick, wavy-glassed windows you glimpse hydrangeas and various tangles of green things below.

The room has nooks and wide baseboards and creaky doors. The enormous fireplace is anchored directly across from you as you enter the room. Although it takes a bit of imagination, I can already see it sparking and crackling with dancing flames and a heavily-laid table before it. Perhaps it's a winter night and we're having roast tenderloin and mashed potatoes and chocolate tart. After dinner, you can climb the ladder and pull down a book or pick up a paper as I sit at the piano and play Beethoven. When the fire dies and the old room grows quiet and dark, we'll trudge off to quilted beds, heavy as we are with home-cooked food and a treasury of words and sounds.

It's painted rather darkly, isn't it? I wanted it that way. I wanted us to think of a Jane Austen movie or an ancient English library when we entered: big, dark wood... dusty volumes... old maps. No fairies and girly flowers in here. Amber arrived Saturday like a knight in a shining bra (which she is), and together we dusted and swept and coughed and painted. She's a hero, that girl. Soon, I promised her as she left. Soon it will be done and we can waste away hours in here.

Oh, and we will. Many of us will. This beautiful room has been revived to see yet another generation of wandering feet and dreaming minds. It almost makes me cry to think of it: another family stretching out before the fire and catching up on each other's lives. Another decade of stockings hung beneath the chimney with care. Another series of meals and laughs and games going on as before....

Just like heaven will be. I'll admit: I, too, have always imagined heaven as a bit of a library. A shiny, noisy, joyful library.

Your library is your paradise.
-Desiderius Erasmus


Adrienne said...

Oh, I wish I lived close enough to you to sit and take in the sights, sounds and feeling of your wonderful library. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it looks wonderful! What progress since a few weeks ago when I saw it last -- you're truly amazing! I can't wait to come to your library and be like Belle in Beauty and the Beast! Lisa

Anonymous said...

A library complete with a ladder and a fireplace..oh I could cozy up real well in there! I dream of having my very own wonderful is that!
I can see you curled up in that chair with a good book some stormy night...ahhh what bliss!!

Anonymous said...

The library looks great!!! I can't wait until we get it finished. Then we can start on the next room!I had a really wonderful time and I look forward to doing the next project. Call me when you are ready to paint again. I LOVE the house!!!! Am

Susan said...

I think all of us that love books and the written word so much would love to have a library. How blessed you are to have one and to share it's coming alive with us.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Oooooh I love that color! I want to come over right now and waste some time! It def evokes the mood you are after. So beautiful and so different from when we were there recently. You really inspired my fam to get on some projects. I finally painted my kitchen and we all just love the new look. The color is called vanilla cone. One day Jam and I will come and catch up on each others' lives there. We'll call first. Can't wait. Auntie M

Unknown said...

WOW, I felt as if I was right there and I LOVE that color, a english library, a girl after my heart for sure! I too wish I lived closer, it sounds wonderful, the fireplace, oh I can't wait to see it! Thanks Brin for sharing your life with us, good job on the library!

Debe said...

OK, I just found you today. My boss is out of the office so I have spent the day going back thru your blogs. My hand can't spin the mouse any longer. I am exhausted but I have so enjoyed meeting you on so many levels. Then I check back to my Google Reader and find your new update on the library. You are truly a blessed girl!! In every way, good job!! Envy is the same color as those walls.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Just beautiful, Brin! What a perfect library color too. All that furniture must feel right at home in that cozy room. Love it.

I voted on your poll, but I really wanted to vote for all of them (except I don't know you personally).

Loved your Monday devotional. What a story, with the white dove. I've needed a white dove myself lately. Thanks for the inspiration.

Southern Hospitality

Anonymous said...

You are an Anglophile after my own heart (actually, you already have it...). The color is swimmingly beautiful and yes, heaven will definitely have a library and we'll meet there!

Brambleberry said...

I'm in love with your Freeman House.

You seem to live such a romantic life.

Melissa said...

Gorgeous! The photos and the words. I wish I could be a part of a place like that. The room seems to have a personality of its own, perhaps a mixture of personalities from the life that's been lived in it. How sweet that you take such care in restoring it.

BellaColle said...

What a wonderful place! to have a special room just for reading and learning... what a blessing!

Kelli said...

Hi Brin, thank you for visiting my blog, it's nice to meet you!
Your library is amazing...reading your beautiful words I felt like I was right there, cozying up by the fire with a good book!

Lallee said...

Oh, I love the color you chose. It is very befitting of Connor Library. All the books will be smiling on their tall shelves as the fire crackles. I want to come over ;-)