last january i was skimming through some of my five thousand adolescent and early young adult journals when i came across an entry from August 2000 that, when read today, is filled with more amusing irony than i ever would have thought at the time i wrote it.
in the entry, i reflected on Russell M. Nelson's description of the way he approached each morning with optimism and enthusiasm. i complained to myself that, unlike him, as long as i was working at book repair every day all summer long i would never be able to greet the day with such buoyancy. i could never embrace the joy of temp binding periodicals several hours a day, every day, all summer long. the idea of working full time repairing books was unimaginable! an abomination!
"ah well," i sighed, settling into a final, comforting thought: "at least i won't be doing this for the rest of my life."
heh. chuckles on the house! chuckles for those who knew me then or have come to know me since.
eight years later i find myself, at last, cheerfully and enthusiastically not only binding and repairing, but eating, drinking, sleeping, and dreaming books more than forty hours a week. it only took four years of reluctant, mediocre repair work, eighteen months of total abandonment, six months relenting, and two years at a full time bench bookbinding school and working in internships.
and so, despite my hopeful self-prophecy and fierce reluctance to dedicate so much energy to one thing, i am going to do this for the rest of my life. i am willingly and rather miraculously subjecting myself to what one of the twentieth century's most influential bookbinders Edgar Mansfield called "the most demanding craft there is" and "the most unforgiving craft on the face of this bloody earth!"
ah, well, i sigh, settling on this last comforting thought: at least for the rest of my life i will be a craftsman, an artist, a teacher; and i will get chance after chance to transcend the book's demands, defy my innate impatience and impetuousness, and hold tangible progress in my hands!