I read this David Whyte quote today on OnBeing: “…a radical letting-alone of yourself in the world. Letting the world speak in its own voice and letting this deeper sense of yourself speak out.”
Having just spent a week in Turks and Caicos, walking the beach, reading quietly, spending hours without speaking, well, I get it. And I know I need it.
David continues: “In silence you find the death of the periphery, the outside concerns and the place where you’ve been building your personality and where you’ve been building who you are starts to atomize and fall apart…that giving over to something that seems like it’s going to be undermining you to begin with and lead to your demise. And the intuition unfortunately is correct. You are heading to your demise; it’s leading to a richer, deeper place that doesn’t get corroborated very much in our everyday outer world.”
In these moments, my thoughts clarify and my voice becomes clear. In the silence, I discover what I need.
- I need to be by the water. This is nothing new. But I was reminded once again how my heart opens when I pause.
- Time away from the press helps me think of new ideas. Sitting and doing nothing actually helps me create.
- Being alone comes naturally. I spent so much of my time in Rhode Island by myself. And I was perfectly ok with that.
Getting a clean print from my Golding Pearl #1 can be challenging. I thought I’d learned her secrets.
But, oh no. Yesterday and today made me scratch my head, take a break, and rethink the problem.
You can see the image on the right is blotchy. I assumed a packing problem, so I spent time changing thin to thick paper under the Tympan, even trying a piece of printer’s blanket I’ve ended up with. Some improvement, but not good enough.
Next, I tried more ink on the disk. Logical, right? Nope, I still couldn’t get a good print. After playing around for several hours, I decided to head home and try again this morning.
The first thing I did was to take the chase out of the press and try inking it by hand on the proof press. Bingo. That told me I wasn’t getting enough ink from the rollers to the type. I’ve had to remove and add tape to the rails many times, but this time I took it down to nearly nothing and printed. With the rollers getting closer to the type, it worked!
Why my other metal type didn’t need so much tape removed is a mystery, unless– this type is fat, and the wide letters don’t print as well on my press? I’ve been using much thinner, lighter type recently, and I think that’s the difference.
The print still isn’t as clean as I’d like. My sweet little press isn’t great for getting solid prints from wood cuts, either, though. To get this ornament to print, I had to put the chase back in the proof press and print it separately. Plus the uneven texture of the print indicates my platen may need adjusting again. I haven’t had to do that for over a year, but I’ll consider that soon.
When I first brought her home, I struggled to get any good prints. A friend then told me to relax, that it would take a year at least for me to get to know her. Ha, he was right! I do love the problem-solving. And I’m also ready for a bigger press. I guess I’d better get ready for more of that :)
And people wonder why I only print a handful at a time…