A few years ago, a man rang the doorbell of Little Gold Studios asking to speak to Gertrude.
My memory won’t relinquish a few of the details; whether it was Summer or Winter, or whether the man was German or Dutch (I’m almost certain he wasn’t French). I remember only that he was tall and rather eccentric. He was traveling the world with a small set of lead type, calling in at various printmaking establishments to create a series of letterpress prints. He had asked if he could please come in and print a piece of his art.
I said: sure! And I set him up on one of my desktop Adanas. Away he went.
He was laser-focused on the project and very particular about everything. It took him the whole day for him to create just one print and as 3pm rolled around, I couldn’t bring myself to kick him out now that he had finally inked up, but I could see I was going to miss the school pick-up. So I organised some last-minute After School Care, but as it approached 6pm I started getting nervous and had to get serious with him about wrapping things up and moving on. While I am pathologically patient, After School Care pick-up times are non-negotiable and I hadn’t got a lot of my own work done that day because I had one eye on supervising his project.
So as I waved goodbye to the German or Dutchman (probably not Frenchman), and sped off to my motherly duties, I was disappointed that a lovely experience ended with me feeling so stressed and annoyed at myself. Why do I agree so blindly to these things? Why don’t I set better boundaries? Whyyyyy do I never see what could go wrong, only some blurry vision of what could go right?
I didn’t notice for at least a week afterwards the little print he pinned to the top of the doorframe as he left.
The random mid-word capital M is for Melbourne.
The leaf pressed into the back is Eucalyptus.
The French roughly translates to: “The second it closes, the door is nostalgic for all the seconds before.”
And I realised why I say yes, without question, to blurry things.