Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to School and the Lure of the Blank Page

I’ve always thought September was a better time for new beginnings, than January. January is so cold and bleak and forbidding, whereas September is warm and mellow and inviting. That enticing, fall scent is a wake-up call. Like the smell of coffee and bacon in the morning. It makes you want to get up and get going.

Then there is the school thing. All those memories of new beginnings. New classrooms, new subjects, new teachers, new notebooks… Ah, that is the real crux of the matter. That new notebook. You know the one I mean, with the black and white marble cover and the white rectangle waiting for you to write your name in. And inside are all those beautiful, blank pages with blue lines, waiting to be filled with new words. Words that have never been used before, at least not in exactly that order.

I can never let an autumn pass without buying one of those notebooks. What is the lure of the blank page? The white wall crying out for grafitti, the bare tree trunk, begging to be initialed, the bathroom wall demanding…well…back to the notebook. After I buy it, I let it sit around for a few days, enjoying its pristine perfection. Because, I know, the minute I set pen to those pages, they will no longer be pure. They will be tarnished, blemished, marred with words unworthy of their perfection. Words that will need to be changed, fixed, improved, and refined, over and over again. And even then, the result will never be as perfect as that clean, pure, empty white page. But we have to keep trying, September after September, don’t we?

Robin Hathaway

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Robin, for the reminder. This really rings my bell. All my bells. Be well, Thelma