I'm writing this with one eye on the news. Missiles once again have become Chekhov's gun in our contemporary drama. Mass racism with its typical array of incoherent demands, of the past, present, and future. Meteorologists turned hurricane heroes. These are difficult times. I am struck, however, amidst all this, by the instances of defiance. Sometimes, as we will see this weekend all around the Bay Area, it is in the form of a counter-protest. Cacophonous voices in the streets shouting "No," while their clusters of bodies demand space for a unified "Yes" -- to difference, to dignity, to diversity. Other times, the defiance is unexceptional daily doings that allow a person simply to survive. Many times, most of us find language failing us, and our silences in the face of it all are filled with more meaning than even we can imagine.
Maybe it's a tad pretentious, but I like to think independent bookstores inhabit a space that invites all of these responses to this life we're living. Sometimes, as we browse, we are searching for the sort of book we've never before seen; other times, a voice to guide us through circumstances we know all too well; and maybe more often than not, something to accompany us in those moments of silence we can eke out for ourselves in a very loud world.
What sort of bookstore is East Bay Booksellers going to be? My hope is that it is as different as all these acts of defiance you bring inside with you, and hopefully and occasionally conjure up while within.