empty pages

There is something eerily disturbing about a blank page. I like forms, shapes, lines and rules: I know how to follow. I am the second-in-command who barks orders after the charming leader has delivered the inspirational speech. I write on lines and I place my letters upon them as if I were lining up a row of naughty children. When they escape the line I immediately sort them out.

But blank pages elude me. Art, squiggles, dots, strikes… limitless possibility. I had a compulsory art unit last year, in which I had to fill up an A4 blank journal with my artistic and investigative ventures. It was back to the early days of high school – I’d gotten my hands on an art scholarship and spent the next two years keeping my head down as others around me slaved over their unique clay sculptures. Some were evidently in an element of their own, while I was the impostor. I managed to pass the art unit (with a perfect 50) but not without a sense of disappointment at my fake art skills.

As I look upon my empty journal pages I feel something that some would describe as freedom. I describe it as boundless. I do not feel like soaring exactly; it is almost as if I could slip into the vast nothingness of the page and never return.

This is the fear I face every time I have a blank sheet of paper. My sister bought me a personal journal to record my thoughts, as I have done for years. It has been about a year and a half now. I wouldn’t call myself comfortable, but I’ve accepted it now.

One day, I will have the courage to tackle a blank canvass. But until then, I will continue to write in a disorderly fashion with my lines slanting to the right.


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