Two Inch Margins

Journal entry 11.20.08

Two-thirds through Thoughts in Solitude (Thomas Merton). If you don’t take your time with Merton you’ll be wasting your time with Merton. Much time is wasted in reading.

Thoughts in Solitude came out of Merton’s life in solitude, a hermitage. I noticed this morning that the layout of the book had much wider margins than normal. Twice as many words could have been included if the publishers reduced the margins. About two inches all around the words. A buffer, margin, space, like the distance between the world and a hermitage. How appropriate… this design.

There must be a margin, a space between us and the world, between us and life. And we find that the margin is life… more so than the life it separates us from. The margin is where life is experienced and once this happens we’re in a better place to cross over into the pseudo-life. In fact, the margin brings life to life… color, fragrance, texture, sound. Like the difference between the picture of the beautiful forest and actually walking through one. We must create more margin in our lives and more space in our hearts. Thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux.