It might be liberating to think of human life as informed by losses and disappearances as much as by gifted appearances, allowing a more present participation and witness to the difficulty of living. David Whyte
Recently I have been drawn to David Whyte's writings. This quote that encourages us to consider the losses and disappearances, has helped me to put recent publishing experiences into a healthier perspective.
This past year printing publications for Tiger’s Eye has been a bear. We almost went with a print-on-demand service, but after doing research, decided it wasn't for us. We were straddling the fence, one printer in Oregon, one in Colorado. The Oregon printer known for not following through, the Colorado printer precise and blessedly accessible, but also charging twice as much to print the journal, which is not an option.
Issue #23 will be mailed this coming week after months of wrangling with the Oregon printer. Issue #24 was mailed last week, and we’ve heard from two poets. One said that her copy was pretty battered by the time it arrived. The other said she received an empty envelope, all three copies missing, and an apologetic note from the post office. She lives no more than 15 miles away, so I find this incomprehensible.
Just when things seemed to settle a little, just when I took a deep breath, an email from a poet saying his entire order, the newest Infinities chapbook, never made it to his house. These are gorgeous little books, made with care, the poems cohesive and important to he poet.
I am considering the time and love that goes into a business like this, to say nothing of the money. All of the years JoAn and I have read and published and communicated with poets whose work we fell in love with. I’m no longer angry, I am simply mystified by this current run of bad luck.
The universe asking us to sit up and pay attention
Whatever is going on, I am not ignoring the information, nor am I making excuses. But we do apologize for late orders, missing publications, and miss-communications. It seems that no matter the love and attention given to the work on this end, the printing process, and now the US Postal Service is creating a feeling of chaotic imbalance.
This is less about blaming than acknowledging, this is less about business than how we react when our lives on any level do not go as planned. Like Whyte, I'm willing to admit that part of our lives are bathed in difficulty. As much as we'd like to be lost in the lightness of flight, and we poets do appreciate flight, we know the dark loam of the earth is equally viable.
Thank you for your emails, your submissions, for asking us hard questions. The only answer we can give is that we are doing our best.
footnote: The missing-in-action box of chapbooks was found sitting on a post office shelf. One mystery solved.