Sometimes I stare at a blank sheet of paper like I’m waiting for it to tell me something; as if it’s holding secrets and if I look at it long enough and hard enough, it’ll give up those secrets.
Sometimes, it does. Most of the times, I appreciate the potential that it holds and then, close the window. Or book.
The thing is, usually when I do this, rather than looking for something to write about, it’s because I’m being overwhelmed by the thoughts inside my head. There are so many of them, running around, hopping and jumping about, pulling things out of their places, turning everything upside down; and I don’t know how to stop them. So, I stare at this blank sheet of paper and wait for clarity; if not complete clarity, then at least some, so I can put things into order again and make sense of it all.
Imagine yourself knitting with the cat playing around your chair, and before you know it, your wool’s all tangled up and your cat is trying to pull itself free. That’s how it is- I’m the cat and my thoughts are the wool, tangled and suffocating. When I look at the blank sheet of paper, which holds nothing but the hint of possibilities, it calms me; because here is a place that’s empty, that has no direction or correction, no right, wrong or reason, nothing but an easy placidity that I can breathe in. It calms me.
It helps me regain some order in my brain- lock up the boxes that were opened, cover up the corners exposed and forget things I’m supposed to have forgotten. In the process of setting things right, sometimes, I use that paper to write. Most of those writings never see the light of day because they’re just words put on paper as they spill out. A lot of those sentences are long, run on, end in question marks and don’t make complete sense to anyone except me. A lot of it is incomplete because I finish it in my head while something else is pushing for expulsion. It’s messy and soon, it’ll end up crumpled up in the dust bin or the recycle bin. But, it’s done its job. It’s released some of the pressure and that helps.
The times when I don’t write however, I just stare. I keep staring at that piece of paper like it’s my salvation. And it is. Because after some time, I can open a fresh sheet of paper which hasn’t yet been stained by the sight of my desperate eyes and put my thoughts down, in a way that makes sense- to me and maybe even to you.
And so, I can breathe again. I can take on the world again. I can hide my insecurities again without the tag showing. I can be perfect again.