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What or Why This AJ?

“Maybe I will learn what the Amateur Press is all about.” “Altruistic”? was tossed at us, last bundle, by one person pondering the mystique of our hobby.

What purpose to it? What IS this AJ hobby?

Some have an overwhelming urge to communicate.

Ever seem “lost” in company, or among a regiment of oafs intent only on rehash of last night’s bridge or poker – or chess match? or triple-analyzing every misplay in latest baseball record, or football pileup?

Hope simply to share thoughts, feelings, experiences – to “reach out” to others?

Altruism is defined as general welfare of society, as opposed to egoism.

Yet too often our efforts appear merely an ego trip, and are branded by others “purely self-satisfaction.”

True, we may achieve in this hobby satisfaction in publication (or printing, as YOU want it done) that wouldn’t, couldn’t, appear or be shared otherwise.

Today “glamorous, meaning profitable, marketable.”

Consider; “amateur, one who engages in activity for pleasure rather than for money.” “Doing something that comes very easy to them.”

Dilettante, dabbler, novice or neophyte? or just happy to perform in this pastime – regardless of cost or lack of any profit?

Time mentions present “emphasis on money as an absolute barometer of success” quoting Donald Shrivers “the work heritage [fades] because making money has become a goal unto itself.”

Some writers/printers herein have been adept (and paid) masters of their craft for decades; yet enjoy active participation here.

Nor do we disdainfully dismiss or ignore newcomers valiantly struggling to learn the basic processes.

Amateur – we simply love to do it. Answer enough?

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by Dawn-Ellen Eichner
November 3, 1985

Don’t mourn for me
With tear-filled eyes,
That silently do weep.
Don’t let the sadness plague your mind,
And keep you from your sleep.
For I am still a part of you –
I live somewhere inside.
I whisper in the willow trees,
I am the gentle tide.
I am closer than you realize,
I am just a thought away.
You can hear my voice in the cardinal’s cry
Or when the children play.
Don’t visit my grave in search of me –
That’s where my body lies.
I’ve been raised on eagle’s wings,
And soar through cloudless skies.

by Merry B. Harris

They go.
One by one they go
Into the darkness
Of that good night
Beyond which
They find the Realm
Of Everlasting Light.

They go.
One by one they go.
As we grow old
The one thing
We surely know
Is that, in time,
One by one
They go.

We watch,
And grieve,
And are aware
That someday soon –
At day’s dawning,
At eventide
Or noon –
We too shall go:
All must saunter
Into that good night
Beyond which
Lies… The Realm
Of Everlasting Light.

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Weaker Moments 328, for UAP Aug. ‘88; by Ralph Babcock, Oak Harbor, Washington 98277

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