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I Don’t Dread the Blank Page, I Long for It

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I search for scraps of paper like an animal in the winter as it forages for food. I gather them up and hoard them, greedily and desperately - don’t let that idea get away!

You think it’s going to stay perched on the edge of your hand forever, but it can fly away in an instant, never to return. You fancy you catch a glimpse of it, a flurry of wing in your peripheral vision, but when you whip your head around it is gone.

So get it down, get it down, place it in its gilded page, feed it with tempting tidbits to encourage it to grow. That’s why paper is so important, it doesn’t even have to be a proper page. The back of a receipt will do in times of great crisis. Those three lines on the back of an envelope that evolve into the next novel. It has to start somewhere. Why not there?

This is why my attempts at poetics nestle alongside shopping lists and why grand ideas co-exist with kids’ drawings of trains and princesses — each possessing of her own rainbow. (Every princess must have her own rainbow, it is the law).

The blank page to me is not a scary place. It is longed for, sought after, like a virgin fall of snow. It is entirely up to you what you do with it. Fashion magical ice sculptures or form piss holes.

This piece is written in an old, tatty notebook. I started at the back and upside down, because the front was filled up already. This page itself is not virgin snow but scribbled on with pencil. Because it is pencil, it is fair game and can be over ridden with pen.

I have no idea as to the origin of this notebook, only that it was probably gifted to me. Those that know me frequently buy me notebooks. I devour each one gratefully, understanding paper to be at the top of my own personal food pyramid, essential to my health and vital for my well being.