2013 -- 5.2 (Spring) Visual Arts

My One and Only Escape

By: James T. Thomas III

The atmosphere of the Jacaranda Public Library is serene. Upon arrival, the patrons are greeted by the exotic display of indigenous plant and wildlife, merged with the modern architecture that coincides with the tropical Florida weather. One can imagine the aroma of the Gulf breeze as the sliding doors open. The structure mimics the inner chambers of a beating heart in the large gathering room, holding laughter and tears within the atmosphere from the annual public movie showing. To the left of the building is where the tombs of the creative minds are proudly housed.  As I glide my fingertips along the worn spine of countless novels, a rush of excitement fills my heart with the possibility that I will discover a tale begging to be read. Along with the printed word, other forms of media are given a place to be displayed. Films, audiobooks, and magazines are in bloom like a never ending literary garden. To the right of the building is where the nonfiction is stored. Each book, arranged by the Dewey Decimal System, holds every possible fact and opinion like a fountain of acquired knowledge. Walking down the shelf, I feel the eyes of the greatest minds are spying on me, judging if I am deemed worthy to adopt their recorded knowledge. Reference material such as local records and statistics are found here to provide an insight of what life was like on a local, state, or national level. Open one of these books, and the history that is suspended in time by paper and ink becomes animated. When I have selected that one item, that one piece of literary art that is ripe for the picking, where time transforms and takes me on a journey that only the author and I share, I am at peace.


James T. Thomas III is a returning first year student, majoring in General Associate in Arts. Born and raised in Florida for most of his life. His most valued life experience is living in Spain for two years as a child. He is the president and founder of the Anime and Manga Club at SCF-Venice. He currently resides in Venice where he shares a home with his mother, a dog, a cat, and a tidal wave of ideas.