1 Colleen Friesen Library | Traveling Light Blog by Travel Writer Colleen Friesen

Colleen Friesen Library

Tia Parker, Michele Peterson, Colleen Friesen, Kim Lyle & Sarah Firth

It was sad to say goodbye to everyone at Arquetopia…especially just after the inaugral opening of the Colleen Friesen Library.

Yes, it’s true!  Since, I was the first writer to participate in their artist residency, and because I was the one to suggest that I would like to leave my books behind so that we could create a little sharing library in the lounge, and because the other residents are visual artists with great imaginations and a keen sense of fun…well…it was inevitable.

On Saturday night while we were celebrating Sarah Firth’s 28th birthday at the nearby La Biznaga restaurant, I was presented with a still-sticky, newly varnished placard proclaiming the Colleen Friesen Library.  If you look closely in the photo above, you will see the stellar placard above the door. (It is probably worth mentioning at this point that said library consists of a wooden crate with my seven used books stacked inside).

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Yesterday morning as I was saying my goodbyes, we had an impromptu ceremony…using garden shears, yellow dingle-balls as a stand-in for a ribbon and the aforementioned placard hastily affixed to the wall with masking tape, I dedicated the library to future readers and writers of Arquetopia.

I’m sure my stirring speech brought a tear to many an eye. (Then again, they could have been having a reaction to Cleo the new resident kitten).

With the library officially sanctioned, I moved on to the next part of my Mexican odyssey. I’ve joined Michele Peterson at Las Mariposas here in Oaxaca and tomorrow we set off on the 7-hour bus ride to her home in Puerto Escondido.

She has warned me that it’s going to be hot, hot, hot in Puerto.  But I’m ready.

If I succumb to the heat…it’ll be okay because people(!) I have created a legacy.

Future artists will have a book to read. Perhaps they will add a volume or two to the crate. Maybe, just maybe, they might have to add another crate as the library grows. But whatever happens, there is now proof  that I have been on this earth.

I have left my legacy: The Colleen Friesen Library.


The Colleen Friesen Library – Official opening ceremony from Jason Leong on Vimeo.



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10 Responses
  1. Lori Henry says:

    You have most certainly left a legacy. And what better way than with books! How absolutely wonderful, Colleen.

  2. KAREN says:

    Congrats on the legacy! And may they be inspired by reading your blogs. Good on you!

  3. Colleen Friesen says:

    Hey Lori, I know some people have bridges or buildings named after them, but I’m pretty happy with an old wooden crate and some used books. Thanks for your support to my new library!

  4. Colleen Friesen says:

    Ha! Thanks Karen. It was certainly the most fun I’ve had at an ‘opening’ :)

  5. carly friesen says:

    this is so amazing!! Sounds like quite a fun and spontaneous group! :)

  6. Colleen Friesen says:

    Carly, fun and curious and inventive would definitely be good descriptors for this group!

  7. Dee Dee (Diana) Sjogren says:

    Come On! What next? A wing dedicated to The Colleen in Vancouver Library? I wouldn’t be suprised! Living Large Girlfriend! xodd

  8. Colleen Friesen says:

    Dee Dee, You’re right! I’m sure if the VPL had a special section that consisted of old wooden fruit crates, I’d be in it!

  9. Lori Henry says:

    My only question is: where was SNAP? They should have been there taking photos! I’m really disappointed. ;-)

  10. Colleen Friesen says:

    Lori. It’s true. I should have given them a call. It truly was a SNAP moment!

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