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Dried Ink

Old newspapers and magazines fascinate me. I get lost in them, bound in musty hardcover a year at a time, a man alone in a library room lit by afternoon sunlight, or at the midnight table. Experiencing snapshots of a day of a year, the important news, the prices of goods and services, the information people absorbed without knowing the future as I know the past, the things that no longer exist, the dust on my fingers. I have flipped through brittle yellow pages and covered 10 years’ time in a few hours, a person’s lifespan in a matter of weeks. Ink marks the journey. I feel a vague sadness in passing several days with the flick of a wrist, like watching colors created by a winter day’s washed-out sun disappear too quickly in its recession. What did people experience between the lines? And sometimes I’m aware of the time I’ve spent wandering alone in the pages and I feel guilty – needing to do something more important and useful before my day recedes into the world.

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