I see this poster, "This is a Printing Office," each time I walk into my print shop, where it hangs in a prominent place. The text was written by American journalist and typographer Beatrice Warde in 1932, and printed by the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum a few years ago. Each time I see it, the manifesto grounds me and focuses my intention for the day’s work — this work of offering the daily bread of language.
The events of 2016, from global heartaches to national and personal ones, have challenged me; they’ve challenged my perception of the world, of my place in the world, of what is real, of what is trustworthy, and of what is possible (both for ill and for good). In the chaos of events and emotions, one question emerged to guide my inner reflections: How far is it from here to there?
How far from where I stand — the bit of earth, the people and places, my experiences and my feelings — to where others stand, what they experience, what they feel. That inquiry was the key in my heart’s lock, and, when turned, out tumbled a year’s worth of words and wonderment about my relationship to others, to the world, to suffering, and to action.
The only thing I knew to do with all of this was to set my reflections in wood and metal type and print them. So, I offer these thoughts and questions now to those of you who may be interested, as a small act of communion — a trust that we’re in this together, in all the dark chaos as much as any dawn.
As the calendar year turns to 2017, I have no answers. But at St Brigid Press we do have a mission — to be a Printing Office. To engage truth and beauty and experience as honestly and wholeheartedly as we can; to converse with care and courage with our community. With you.
Thank you for your presence in my life and in the conversation. All the best to you all,
If you would like a copy of my print, "How Far Is It From Here To There?", please email us ~ firstname.lastname@example.org . ($12 post-paid to US addresses; inquire for oversees postage.)