Friday

Words, Blank Pages and Life.

"I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page
and I could do anything I wanted."- Jack Kerouac

When I was at school I would love it when I came to the end of an exercise book (the note pad that we wrote our lessons into) and had a chance to start a new one. Those wonderful smooth white pages not yet sullied with untidy writing and mistakes.

I savoured that moment and was always filled with good intentions. The first page was duly written in my very best handwriting. Slowly and meticulously I formed each letter like a work of art, I wanted it to be beautiful and my heart would sink just a little if I faltered.

I wanted to keep the whole book like that, I wanted my writing to be straight and neat. I didn't want to cross things out, to make mistakes or lose focus.

But of course, with writing as with life, I did.

Sometimes my obsession with the neatness of my first page made me try too hard, my hand became stiff and unresponsive my mind was 'trying to write' not trusting that my hand knew how to do it. Other times I was rushed, uncaring, thinking of other things and my writing sprawled and stuttered across the page, punctuated with little mistakes and tripped up by smudges.

It always worked best when I was relaxed and calm, mindful of the moment and trusting my hand to function as an extension of my mind and heart, because then I would just let the words flow fluidly across the unwritten page.

I have realised as I've got older that even though the neatness of the writing is still important to me, for I am an aesthetic soul and appreciate the beauty in things. It is so much more important what meaning I am filling my pages with. What story is filling up my book?

We can, if only we realise it, choose to start a new page at any moment. Each morning is ripe for a new beginning but it is here at the turning of the year that lots of us are thinking of what we wish to write into our next year, into our next chapter.

So, I'd like to send you my blessings and wish you good writing! May your story flow and may it be a beautiful one.

"A new paragraph is a wonderful thing. It lets you quietly change the rhythm,
and it can be like a flash of lightning that shows the same landscape
from a different aspect."- Isaac Babel

16 comments:

Jade said...

I could totally relate to this one, as I've always started a new book very neat and even slightly stiff, and still do begin this way. I also agree that the meanings are so much more important than outside appearances.

Have a happy new year! :)

Wenny Yap said...

This is a beautiful post and I really empathise with the new notepad experience. I am very much like you ... an obsession with neatness.

I enjoyed reading and understand the moral of this entry.

Wishing you a Happy New Year ... CHEERS!!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautifully written, Susannah, the blank page, the potential of the brand new year.......I am looking foreard to good reading and writing in 2011. Your piece made me remember when I was in school, and each desk had an INKWELL....can you IMAGINE the mess?????? The nuns wanted my writing to be round and perfect like theirs. Mine has always looked like bird tracks and always had horrible splotches of ink all over the page. Hee hee, cool memories. Happy new year, kiddo........

Susannah said...

Hello Jade, I am glad you could relate to this. :-)

Thanks very much for visiting and a very happy new year to you. x

Susannah said...

Hi Wenny, I'm glad that you too could empathise with the notepad experience, it seems I am not alone in that. :-)

Happy new year to you too, thanks for visiting it is good to see you.

Susannah said...

Sherry, you just bought back a memory for me too!

At my early schools there were inkwells in the desks, I had totally forgotten about that, oh, and blotting paper as well! What a trip down memory lane!

It is always good to see you Sherry, happy new year to you. x

Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done...thanks for sharing

Susannah said...

Thanks Wayne. :-)

Happy new year to you and thanks for the visit, it is good to meet you.

Punam said...

Lovely post Susannah, and it truly makes sense. A new page, a new day, a new chapter and a new dawn. :) I love the new.. Happy New Year!!
Love,
Punam

Susannah said...

Hello Punam. :-)

Happy new year to you! thanks for dropping in, it is good to meet you.

Jennifer said...

Wonderful metaphor - I think it helps all of us to see something clearer when we apply a metaphor to it. (This is because as humans, we comprehend meaning before we comprehend what text is saying.) Anyway, I love this one, and will take it with me into the new year as I get back into writing!

Happy new year Susannah.

nothingprofound said...

I think one's writing and one's life goes best when one's not afraid to make a mess of it. Trying to be neat slows the process down and makes one self-conscious.

Susannah said...

Hello Jennifer,

I agree about metaphors and I like your explanation of why they work so well, thanks for that.

A very happy new year to you too, may it bring you much joy. :-)

Susannah said...

Nothing Profound, I love your comment, it is so true!

Good to see you and a very happy new year. :-)

Everyday Goddess said...

I agree, the story of our lives written on the pages of our heart. Lovely!

Susannah said...

Thanks Everyday Goddess, it is good to see you. Thanks for your comment. :-)

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