A place of focus

The State Library, a building that exudes focus. Beside me one very thin university student has fallen asleep, a thick book teetering on his knee but even in sleep he seems intent, his hand rests on the open page as though absorbing its content by unconscious osmosis. All around me, at each of the hundreds of mid-19th century tables sits someone deeply absorbed in many unknown somethings. No one talks, it’s a library after all. A cough, a creak as someone shifts in their seat, the click-clack of heels as someone enters or departs the great hall beneath the dome which looms 114 feet above, letting in a diffused flood of light, the only admittance of the world outside.

I used to come here often when I lived in Melbourne. When I think of this city I think of art and show, people at the height of their creativity, the characters that give Melbourne its character, of great food, of the trams and the trains, and of the State Library – a grand oasis in a city of exquisitely orchestrated chaos.