A room is simply defined as an interior space enclosed or set apart by walls. And indeed this description accurately conveys the simplicity I usually feel upon entering most rooms; however, one I visited recently was different. A physical description would be meaningless because the ambiance was what completed this room, not the size, shape, or color of the walls.
One day recently while seeking a quiet haven from the bustle and clamor of the “digital” university environment that surrounded me, I stumbled upon the small Art and Music Room of the campus library. Curious, I entered with a growing sensation over the immediate peacefulness I seemed to breach—no internet, cell phones or protest groups.
Sitting down at one of the small tables, I attempted to settle into my subliminal business at hand. Yet I found myself distracted by the well-designed setting of the area. One corner sported a huge music cubicle, offering an infinite choice of private melodies available within classic padded headsets. The walls were filled with racks chocked full of artsy magazines and books which offered honest and vivid expressions of life, through color, photography, and design. Things that seem to have been forgotten in the literal world of today.
More impressive was the mood of the few other visitors. As opposed to the usual forcibly hushed atmosphere of any library setting, these people appeared naturally serene and truly unaware of anything outside their personal sphere. Their mood was infectious and tranquil and interesting thoughts came effortlessly to me as I settled back and closed my eyes.
Later, while glancing at my watch with a grimace, I rose, gazing around the room as I left. I regretted that I only had a short time to spend there. I realized the furnishing of a room should not always revolve around style or fancy, yet perhaps only comfort and efficiency a thoughtful setting can provide, which is an art in itself.
As I left, I thought a room can be much more than only an interior space simply enclosed by walls—albeit all due respect to Mr. Webster.