The Henry Miller Memorial Library and Artistic Refuge

We are visiting the Henry Miller Memorial Library. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. There is free coffee available (donation suggested), free WiFi (satellite, so no big downloads, please), and a friendly cat roaming the patio. Lisa and I alone here, and we are alive.

The drive into Big Sur should have killed us. The road swooped and darted like a frightened hummingbird. We had to avoid looking around it was so beautiful. The views threatened to distract and kill us. But how could you get upset dying in a setting like this?

It is now the end of our second day in Big Sur (or maybe our third). The weather should continue to be good. There’s no rain in the forecast nor cold predicted. We only have to worry about our batteries running low. We haven’t been to a library in days.

This then? This is not a library. There are no books to lend and no library cards to distribute. There’s a stage for summer concerts and a small store. Redwood trees surround the property and a fence cuts the road noise from route one. Any noise that gets through the fence is absorbed by the redwood trees and their mattress-like soil. Surrounding the store is a patio filled with tables and chairs. There are jade plants on the tables and the cat. Beware of the cat. The entire place is a kick in the pants to the weary traveler, a calm refuge amidst a sea of chakra-preying serpents.

But there’s no power, no electricity. The cancer of time is eating our batteries away. We cannot stay long but we wish to stay forever. Someday we’ll return.

Post inspired by Henry Miller’s formerly-banned book, Tropic of Cancer. Read an excerpt here.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur -- a wonderful place to relax.
The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur -- a wonderful place to relax.

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