I first heard of Joseph Campbell in college, which was more than half a lifetime ago. His words resonated so deeply. But I’m not sure I understood them fully until recently. Bliss. To me, bliss is more like “flow,” as in Csikszentmihalyi’s research.

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

It’s what happens to me when I am working on the press. Last week a friend brought by some ink he didn’t need any longer. Not standard letterpress ink, but what the heck. I’ve heard of using other types of ink so I wanted to give it a try.

The first few attempts were bad. I ran down my list of possible problems: not locking up the type correctly, not enough or too much packing, too much ink. Nothing corrected the bleeding I was seeing. I assumed the ink wasn’t going to work. And then I had a flash- what if the brayer isn’t getting the ink on the type well enough? I was using my proof press not my platen press to test this. Bingo! After I cleaned up the press and tried a different brayer, the sample print was much better. I fooled around a little more with paper thickness, and then called it a day. Hours of trying this and that had flown by. And in the end, I felt as satisfied and full as I have after a delicious meal and wine.

Pure bliss.


Little Feet and Lots of Love


There’s something about little feet, especially the feet of grandchildren. I don’t often post personal photos here, but I couldn’t resist this one. We had gone out to dinner, sitting at an outside restaurant that worked perfectly for the kids. The boy is missing. He spent the evening digging in the mulch with the fork, perfect to occupy his time and give us a moment to down our food.

Two hectic, sometimes crazy weeks with my sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, my mother, my cousins from both my mom’s side and my dad’s, my 90-year-old uncle, and childhood friends. We gather in this place, Shelter Harbor, and make new memories each summer, while living a dream started by a great-grandmother at the turn of the century. Salt water, boats, and memories can do a lot to keep love alive and families together.

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short.”