A Secret Passion

The smell of it, as I remove the shipping wrap is sharp. The paper smells freshly cut and printed. It is heavier than I remember.

I glide my fingers across the gloss of the cover, down the spine.

Like any good piece of literature, it is more than the sum of its parts. There are individual pages, individual passages which are artful, beautiful. But taken as a whole it transforms, it blends and mixes and unifies. It breathes. And it speaks. It speaks about a world of possibility and the search for substance over style. Of a lost generation’s yearning to understand what is real and good and pure – maybe of every generation’s need for that sense of solidity; of gritty, healthy profundity.

Of course I devour it. The anachronism, the self-contradiction, it does not engage, it compels. Every page makes you want to live up to it, to be worthy of what it offers. It would be difficult, and expensive, but you think about who you would be if you could really master and harness those forces. You would need no other god. You could literally reach out and grab the world and form it to your will and set it back and say “There. It is done. I have created. And I have done it with love, and with precision, and it is beautiful and it is real.”

The Lee Valley annual catalog is better than porn.

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