A true delight has just arrived for me priority mail, and I could not resist crowing in my joy and sharing the beauty of it: a tremendous handmade leather journal, the cover hand-aged and wrinkled, the paper inside a beautiful archival blue:
The journal 1200 pages and is just under 9 x 15 inches, making it the size of a family Bible. In fact, in a sense that is its purpose - I am using it to fulfill a lifelong yearning to create an illuminated medieval manuscript. As near as I can estimate, it should take me about 38 years to complete. The manuscript will contain, moving in left to right from the front cover, the new testament in Greek (the "evaggelion") and, moving in from right to left from the "back" cover, the old testament in Hebrew (the "tanakh"). It will include capering figures in the margins and illuminated capitals. My wife just gave me for an early birthday present a formidable supply of calligraphy pens, so I am ready to get to it. I want to know what it is to make one's devotions through the daily ritual of making a manuscript. (Was I a monk in some former life?)
Celebrate with me!
The journal, by the way, is the delicate work of a family business in North Carolina known as Witches Moon, who specialize in grimoires, spellbooks, and journals for herbalists. Their work is very beautiful, and you can see on this page how they have made custom-designed manuscript books for many people. Definitely worth taking a look.
For my part, I am as happy as Christmas morning!