The Tipsy Librarian: Seasons Of Change

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Greetings fellow springtime book lovers! Tipsy Librarian here, experiencing a little bit of spring fever. Spring brings with it all sorts of palpitating effects: fewer layers of clothes, more exposed skin, outdoor patio dining, gazpacho—but it also tends to bring with it substantial life changes.

I know I’m not exaggerating this, because worldwide, the spring equinox has historically produced intense religious and cultural ceremonies.

Some cultures say equinox is a time for the gods and goddesses to travel back and forth between the underworld and the living.

The Greeks have Dionysus; the Russians have mermaid ghosts called rusalki, and my personal favorite is the Iranian festival of Nowruz, during which people jump over a fire to symbolize the passing from winter to spring, death into life.

This time last year, I lived in a town south of Denver, in view of Pike’s Peak, in the region of the country known to some as the Front Range Urban Corridor (though I had to drive for an hour to reach the city) and to others as almost Eastern Plains.

I was single and unemployed, and most of my possessions fit in my Honda Civic.

The sky out there is wider than any one person can conceive, and the way Colorado ushers in spring is through dramatic, sudden snowstorms which it wipes away the next day with ridiculously bright full-force sunshine.

Last year, spring ushered in dry, crackling heat in one moment and sweet sheets of rain in the next, and also the realization that perhaps I had too much freedom—so much fresh air, so much wide open space.

Realizations that come with ere was nothing to root me;  it was the perfect place to have a mid-life crisis, and I recommend it to anyone considering a personal or professional breakdown (or break-out).

A year later, I live in New Orleans, with a new man I’ll call Lost Boy, and a new couch in one-half of a shotgun covered in a few new coats of brightly-colored paint.

Here, spring is a precursor to the natural state of this place: hot and wet with an “overgrown confusion,” described aptly by Truman Capote.

This springtime, I am no longer single, and I have about three jobs.

Where in Colorado life was quiet and a little uncertain, here, life is downright crowded. The first whiff of sweaty, fresh-cut grass in the air brought the sensory reinforcement of that fact.

We need seasonal changes to help us mark a deeper, bodily sense of time. Let’s appreciate them while we have them.

In honor of spring, I offer you some books that tackle change, each with distinct portrayals of their geographical settings. I include brief taglines in the hopes that one of these, with its accessory cocktail, may lend inspiration and comfort to your own personal rites of spring.

You’re welcome. THEEND

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Alison Barker

Alison Barker

Freelance Writer at Nola Studiola
Alison Barker, or Ms. Barker to the legions of young minds she’s shaped during fourteen years as a primary, middle school and college teacher, is a writer and critic who currently lives in New Orleans. Her work has appeared in Switchback, Monkeybicycle, Fwriction: Review, Ravenna Press’ Anemone Sidecar, Front Porch, Columbia Journal of Art and Literature, dislocate. Fiction, nonfiction, and theater reviews appear in Bitch, Paste Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Reader, Rain Taxi, Bookslut, and soon in Los Angeles Review of Books. She enjoys new places and faces, indefatigably drawing connections between people, places, ideas, and good coffee.
Alison Barker
Alison Barker
Alison Barker
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