Once Again, With Feeling: The Empty Page
Life happens. And then it keeps happening. And by the time it starts to happen a little less – by the time you might actually have a little mental space for thinking thoughts and time space to write them down – you realize you’re used to the empty page, at peace with the simplicity of having written nothing.
The blog light grows dim, the empty page becomes an empty stage. There are no actors in the wings. No orchestra in the pit. No director pacing back and forth scribbling notes in his head.
But there are people in the audience. Some are regulars, virtual friends who visit every day just in case. Others are strangers who wandered in off the street because the door was open. And then there’s that creepy guy who lives in the balcony.
They’re here because of you. They want to see what you can do. They want to be entertained and informed. They want you to confirm and erase their fears with clever wordplay. They want you to shake the rafters with brilliance and break their hearts with unresolved chords. They want to feel. They want to applaud.
They get it, of course – they understand that life happens. It happens to them, too. They’ll give you grace for that. But now…now they’re beginning to wonder where you’re going with this.
And so are you.
So you cut the lights and exit the metaphor, stage left.
The regulars smile knowingly. The strangers wonder why you didn’t just edit the metaphor out of the blog post in the first place. The creepy guy who lives in the balcony falls to his knees, stunned to tears by the wisdom hidden so deep within the metaphor even you can’t see it.
And then you’re back to the empty page. Staring at it.
You’re tired of trying to be clever. You’re tired of trying to be wise. You just want say something small, something simple, something true. And so you begin…
The empty page is a curious thing. It seems to have a mind of its own.
It cajoles. It demands. It threatens. It pleads. It heaps guilt.
But that’s not the empty page. The empty page doesn’t care what you do.
The empty page doesn’t feel lonely.
The empty page doesn’t ache for meaning.
And, no, that’s not the blank page crying out to be filled.