I've been setting metal type in the physical world rather than typing in the digital one, and it feels really good. The meticulous care with which one must operate to make a beautiful page (or even just a clear, easy to read page) is impressive. The feel of the type in my fingers makes me grounded. The presses themselves, so beautiful and heavy, still doing their work after 100 years, give me joy. I marvel at their ingeniousness, their various parts working together just so. They don't seem alive, but they don't seem entirely not alive either.
Next week I will go to Texas with 10,000 or so other people who care very much about words and language, about fitting it together just so, both by meaning and by its physical properties. I will get to eat and work with beloved colleagues whom I normally only interact with digitally. It will be warm, at least outside.
My parents are flying out to California on the same day and same airline that I am flying to Texas. I hope I will see them at the airport. The last time my father fell down was at an airport. The helplessness of watching your parents grow old and start to falter—