A wooden table on the second floor of the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is dedicated to new releases in literature relating to sacred scripture and new age themes.
Having a literary longing for writings formed in the minds of Christian mystics and too much time on my hands here in the age of recession, I find myself scanning the display table inside the massive marble carved complex at the top of the escalators on a daily basis. Libraries in New York make Barnes and Noble seem like a flea market. My library card feels like a Visa!
Fortunately for most readers, many library card holding residents of Kings County check out DVD’s or log onto one of many inner-net based personal computers here, leaving a wealth of books for the borrowing by those with a seemingly endless thirst for good prose.
Rarely do the rags on the well-worn table at the top of the stairs interest me when there are so many old books in row ten to digest or such classics as Homer’s Odyssey translated by Robert Fagles to be read over and over. (The Odyssey can be found on the first floor in the Literature wing of the library.)
A religious fanatic has taken it upon himself to check-out a lot of the relics on the third bookcase from the left on aisle ten on the second floor. This discussion forum-like predator has ridden the pages of these sacred, publically owned texts with personal thoughts and notes—having used a pen to jot down random scribbles as he made his way through my favorite books like a mad caveperson scribbling graffiti thoughts all over the walls of these most sacred institutions.
Having grown weary of these markings, I checked out one of the new books collecting dust upon the overlooked display table of the Upper Room at the library.
“Mystics and Miracles—True Stories of Lives Touched by God” by Bert Ghezzi.
‘A festinating stroll through the lives of twenty-two saints—A stunning study on God’s children. By combining eloquent vignettes of the lives of masters touched by fasting and enflamed by the spirit, Ghezzi offers fresh insight into the authenticity of the mysteries surrounding saints and the miracles which they performed. This book is a roadmap for those who still believe the kingdom is found within on a little table at the top of the stairs next to shelves of prayer, fasting and charitable works, inside the heart of what is the table of the written word!”
“The people of Assisi thought Francis of Assisi was crazy. Francis gave them plenty of evidence for their view. He swapped his fine clothes for a beggar’s rags, gleefully renounced his inheritance, and stripped naked in a bishop’s court. He kissed lepers, preached to birds, and claimed that Jesus spoke to him from a crucifix.”