Thursday, October 09, 2008

"Never once did her father open the door for Reuben to the glory that swirled in the dark ink. Her own mind was incandescent with it. Any tiny letter was a poem, a prayer, a gateway to the splendor of God. And every letter its own road, its own special mystery." (Ruti from People of the Book)

When I wanted to go to graduate school for journalism, an undergrad professor of mine said that he didn't know if I was cut out for journalism because I didn't bleed ink. He said that most reporters bleed newspaper ink. They write for the high school paper (I did not,) they write for the college paper (I did not,) they intern at a newspaper (I did not,) and they're always interested in the news (I was not.) It didn't stop me from going to graduate school for journalism and my life would not have been the same if I didn't go to Emerson College and roam bars and bookstores of Tremont and Boylston streets. Maybe my professor was right. After I graduated, I only lasted one year as a journalist. But he was wrong in one significant way. I do bleed ink. Just not newspaper ink. Like Ruti in People of the Book, I'm mesmerized by the ink of a book. Each word, the skill and craft that goes into the setting of the type; the depth of meaning each letter and word carry. Since I was a kid, I was spellbound by the art and mystery of the written word. And yes, I could have figured all this out without spending $45,000 on a graduate degree I don't use, but I never would have met my wife.

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