In Pittsburgh, we are truly family. When members of a family lose one of their own, they grieve. When they lose several, they hurt, more deeply than can be imagined.
For the moment, let’s put aside money and politics and contention and think about loss and what it means in our lives. Let us feel loss. The loss for our neighbors. The loss for our friends. The loss for our colleagues.
The loss for our community.
Hazelwood, Beechview, West End, Lawrenceville, and Carrick and Knoxville.
As it stands now, the first four of these branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will close and the next two will combine into a new, yet to-be-built facility.
Many of us associated with the library, customers, staff and friends, are going through the various stages of loss that are so well known to all. Right now, we are in the very early stages.
Among poets, Emily Dickinson is, perhaps, the master of loss. Here is her evocative rendition of what we, as a community of neighbors, friends, and colleagues, are experiencing right now:
After great pain a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions–was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round –
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Wooden way
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –
This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –