Over at The Rabbit Room, a relatively new books & music blog with about a zillion learned contributors, singer and songwriter Andrew Peterson outlines his vision for a bricks and mortar extension of the site.
Before the Rabbit Room ever became a website, I built in my imagination a stone-brick cottage with a red round-topped door. A shingle hung above the door bearing a picture of a bespectacled rabbit with a pipe dangling from his mouth. The sign read,THE RABBIT ROOM
and beneath it,BOOKSTORE AND TAVERN.
When you pushed open the red door and walked in, that smell I was telling you about would wash over you and you’d see rows and rows of books, a fire burning in the hearth, people at tables sipping cider or coffee. Maybe an author or songwriter is sitting in the corner by the window teaching about creativity and Christ, about changing the world with light, love, and music infused with the Gospel.
Beyond the aisles of books you’d come upon a smaller doorway, small enough that a grownup would have to stoop to pass through–a reminder that you must grow young to enter the Kingdom–and you would find yourself in a room full of children’s books. Someone in a rocking chair is reading to a circle of boys and girls about King David and Mephibosheth, or Lucy and Eustace, or Hazel and Fiver on Watership Down. The children sit on the floor beneath the bowers of a tree that seems to grow out of the walls and into the ceiling.
Down the hall are private rooms where people are alone with their thoughts, writing, drawing, excavating the final lyric to a song; all of them are stoking a holy fire that they hope will give someone hope in their darkness, even if that someone is them.
That is pretty appealing. (One question: Since when do "taverns" serve only coffee and cider?) I could see myself leaving Aidan in the kid's room and Lindsay and Asher in the main room, where they could drink some cider while Lindsay led a workshop on vocal technique. And I could sneak off to one of those secret rooms (utilizing that coffee) and write the book that I've been talking about for several years.
Thanks for the creative vision, Andrew. I relate. If I had money, I would plunk some down to help you get this place built--so long as I got a lifetime membership.
If your blog were to have a physical extension, what would it look like?
I think mine would be a wide-open loftspace on the thirteenth floor of an old factory building. Brick walls and hardwood floors, with huge picture windows and high ceilings. One view would overlook the busy metropolis with skyscrapers and blinking lights. The other would soar off into hills and trees and a bend of the Missouri River. Whenever there were warm breezes, the windows would be open.
Digitally-non-enhanced photos would cover the walls. The sun would stream in and bounce off the reflective surfaces, the espresso bar on one side of the room would steam and hum, and writers would sit at hardwood tables or slump in leather couches and chairs, scribbling their magnum opus.
I'm not a musician, but I love music, so one corner would be reserved for strumming and drumming and blowing, etc.--but acoustic only. It's hard to write well to wailing electric rock.
And what would this be called? The BitterSweetLife, I guess. That's all I've got, for now.