Que emociòn! Linotype, letterpress, and last full day in Buenos Aires

Another week rushes by. I’m already leaving Buenos Aires tomorrow. Today we went back to Artesanias Graficas. Lapolla let me work the presses. Here is a little video clip of Lapolla fooling around with the Linotype machine.
He’s a funny man. Always acting gruff and grumpy but you can tell he has a big heart. (As does his wife – which must be why they love each other.) The only thing Lapolla’s ever been interested in doing is printing. He had agreed to let me print something today, but when he saw the complexity and length of what I wanted to print, he laughed. And then (after some lengthy back and forth trying, I feel, to ascertain what I wanted and where there was room for him to play as printer) he told me he would make the print for me – in Spanish and English – and mail it to me in Canada when he is finished.
I didn’t understand his words. For all of everyone’s good intentions, communication was difficult. And yet, perhaps I may have imagined it, but I felt like beneath the confusion and clamouring voices, Lapolla understood what I wanted (what was needed), how it could be made beautiful (how he could make it beautiful), and whatever That Which Is Practical might have told him, his heart said most easily, “Yes – I know – and I will help.”
(The piece he is printing is for the Gift List… I am overwhelmed.)
I am grateful to everyone for the patience and generosity they have shown. Gratitude laced with guilt. It was incredibly difficult today, not being able to speak Spanish – hard on everyone.
I only hope that Lapolla, his wife, Gabriela, and Maria feel this gifting project is worthwhile and that they will feel the impact of their generosity ripple with time.
Hard to believe I am leaving tomorrow.
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