Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Great Indoors

When I have more time, I want to write a lengthy blog post with this title.

I love the indoors. I greatly prefer the indoors to the outdoors. Being a conservative, I tend to like boundaries, barriers, and divisions. I'm fascinated by the fact that, once you divide an enclosed space with a wall, you've created two new spaces.

This reflection arsies from a dream I had just now. Actually the dream is a recurring dream. It was set in the old Ballymun, which was divided into flats (four-storey and seven-storey apartment blocks, one of which I lived in) and towers (fourteen stories high). The recurring dreams comes in different varieties, but in one variety I am inside of the towers (which I didn't know so well) and surprised that it has all kinds of facilities I didn't know about. In this dream, one of the floor contained an indoor cinema, which was furnished like an ordinary cinema, had its own shop, and so forth.

Cinemas are one of my favourite places, perhaps even my favourite place of all. The background image on my email is a cinema audience. The wallpaper of the desktop I'm writing on now is an empty cinema. I love cinemas not only because I love movies but because they are windowless, self-contained. I also like supermarkets and swimming pools for the same reason.

Sometimes I get the reputation of a contrarian. There are constant complaints from the staff in the library where I work about the lack of windows and natural light. I remember, at one meeting on the subject, I said: "But I like the lack of windows!" Everyone thought it was just me being contrarian again.

I love the library because it's so big. Every now and again, I like to pause during my work-day and reflect that there are five floors around me full of different rooms, in each of which different things are happening, but they are all the same unit. I find this almost mystical. It's part of the pleasure of patriotism and the pleasure of family. Indeed, I hope it's not irreverent to invoke the words of our Lord himself: "In my father's house, there are many rooms."

I've occasionally toyed with the idea of writing a fantasy novel set entirely indoors, in an indoors or underground world. How this would work, I'm not so sure. The need for food and ventilation is a problem.

Don't get the impression I'm a pasty-faced troglodyte who never goes out and who hates the sun. I do like the outdoors sometimes, particularly when it snows or in wintry weather. Indeed, I wrote this poem to express my occasional passion for the city streets. I walk at least twenty minutes every day, often considerably more. But indoors is definitely my first love.


  1. obviously not like the CIT library in Cork. plenty of light there. maybe not good for books though

    1. Well, we're trying to empty libraries of books anyway! (Not me.)

  2. Then you'll enjoy the sci-fi film 'Cube' from 1997