Friday, October 17, 2008

Thai Printing Block 

OMG, OMG, OMG. I'm really freaking out. Okay. I was at the Book House for the first time in quite a while, trying to get my laptop hooked into their internet (I failed, sadly. But it did strike me as ironic, all the grime I was getting on my hands and my pants, trying to do all this high tech stuff, in an antiquarian bookstore. Weird.). As i was leaving, I saw a wood carving on the wall. It - visualize a cylander, then imagine that the ends aren't circles but house-shaped pentagons. The block had 5 sides, each bearing different carvings. They weren't simple printer's block carvings. They were meant to be pressed into clay or dough, so the imprint would be 3D.

It was beautiful. The piece of paper beside it, describing what all the symbols meant, had to be 50 years old. No telling how old the wood itself was.


Then the sweetest thing happened - as I was gushing over this, asking the owners questions as they were closing up shop (I could FEEL my enthusiasm dripping from my pores, I was so delighted) - Natalie mentioned that when they close up shop they should leave it to me.

I was dumbstruck. Part of my mind, the bad, greedy part, suddenly realized "This could be mine!" and started figuring out where I could hang it in my library so I could see it all the time. The rest of me, though, had control, and I said, "No! You need to give this to one of your children!" It felt like an heirloom. It felt like a treasure, to be given to someone treasured. She scoffed and said, "They aren't interested in that stuff."

I guess, maybe, she thought treasures should be given to people who will treasure them.

I'll bring my camera next time I go and take pictures to share.

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