blank pageThe blank page.

It makes my scalp itch. My lips chap. My bowels growl.

I feel like I suddenly need to pee or drive to Canada or eat onion rings.

There is no getting around the blank page. It’s like standing at the opening of Plato’s cave – you have to decide, do I go in and get chained to the wall? Do I face the shadows and create a reality from them? Or do I stay out here in the sun and do the dishes? The blank page is a frenemy. It acts all fun and cool and like, I really think you’re great, let’s do stuff together, and then it makes you feel stupid and uncouth and lazy because you never took Latin or you make peanut butter cookies from a mix or your kid is going to the local community college and not Dartmouth or your bathroom is the size of a closet and your closet is the size of a cupboard, or you wear pants with elastic waistbands, or your house is full of dog hair, or you watch Scandal, or you’ve never been to Europe, or you can’t roller blade/wind sail/rock climb/run a 10K/do a single push up/get a personal trainer. You are totally wary of the blank page but you keep going back.

But here’s the thing. If you face it down, if you start hitting it hard with letters and words and sentences, if you let your mind go and your heart expand and your eyes stay clear, focused, open, then the miracle happens. It is no longer blank. For better or worse, it is yours. It says something you wanted to say. Maybe not perfectly, or with the right simile or the richest vocabulary or the exact rhythm, but it’s there, in black and white. You were there.

And you feel, well you feel ok. Not happy exactly, although you may feel that sometimes, or satisfied, although that can happen too, but you feel ok. You feel like you’re alright. Like everything’s all right.

That’s what I’m shooting for. What about you?



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5 responses to “Righting

  1. Ash

    The blank page is indeed a frenemy! Nice posting…I am struggling with the blank page right now 🙂

  2. Good for you! Give it hell!

  3. smerk

    I go to Sixers games and they lose, I go to Phillies games and they lose, I go to a play and I laugh (thank goodness it was a comedy). My blank page has been present for at least 3 months now. And I don’t feel good, don’t feel “OK.” Time to embrace it rather than fear it. And get back to that OK feeling. I think I understand what you mean. (Maybe you should be a motivational therapist/speaker – probably more money in that than in blogging.)

  4. I loved this! With our cupboard-sized bathroom and my elastic waists and plethora of dog hair and my fear of the blank page, you were talking directly to me. Well said.

  5. Nancy Heredia

    Fear of the blank page because the words won’t come-or because they do? For me the latter is true. Little by little though I am sneaking up on myself.

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