Oh, blank page. You scare me. Every time I sit down to write and see you there, staring back at me, I break into a cold sweat. I check my email. I update my Facebook status. I answer the telephone. No matter, though, you are there waiting, sporting that blasted blinking cursor and an absence of words.
And so I dutifully put down words, just anything really, anything to fill the page. This is the exercise, running toward the cliff with no real idea of what lies below. Running toward the cliff with no real idea of whether or not I packed a parachute. Running toward the cliff with no shoes on, in skinny jeans, and a white tee-shirt and an oversized purse which may or may not contain my cellphone and car keys. Running toward the cliff.
There is no cliff. That’s the lie.
But, it’s a lie that gets us out the door and running or at least walking fast, somewhere unknown, somewhere we fear, we loathe, we long for, we desire for reasons we cannot remember when the dust kicks up and the sweat starts. We run into the blank page. We run into the blinking cursor. We run into
the brick wall.
It only hurts for a minute. That might leave a mark…or a meandering…to check the mail, the dirty windows, the empty refrigerator, the absent-minded snacking, the shredding of paper and chewing of pencils and juicy fruit. Then I’m back to running, toward the cliff, the character, the participles dangling with subjects unwilling to lend a hand no matter how dire the circumstances. The writing was never the risk. Just getting out of bed in the morning is a victory-
and the blinking cursor pounding loud as if to say, “what the hell is your point?”
Stupid, bossy, cursor.