The Blank Page
When I was eight years old I desperately wanted to be a writer. I didn’t know I could be one without a typewriter (yes, I am old enough to have used a typewriter!) and I knew my parents couldn’t afford to buy me one, so I fiercely prayed to Santa Claus on a nightly basis, begging him to bring me one for Christmas.
When Christmas morning came, I held my breath as I tore into the beautifully wrapped box with my name on it, from Santa. I reached inside and pulled out….a ream of paper.
I glared at that paper with as much disgust as I could muster. “Why am I getting this?” I thought, bitterly. “What am I going to do with paper?”
It should have made sense to me that if I was getting paper, the reason I was getting it would follow. But I was too fixated on what it wasn’t to have any common sense.
My mom had been watching me the whole time. “Is there anything else in there?” she prompted, sounding amused.
I looked in the box again. I don’t know how I had missed it before, but there it was – my typewriter!
I didn’t notice that it probably weighed less than a pound and it was made almost entirely out of plastic. All I knew was that it was the color of my heart, and it glowed, just like my mother’s eyes as she watched me jump up and down, hugging it close.
The paper meant something to me then. I fell in love with it. I remember how I gently slid that first piece out of its package, not wanting to crease it in any way. It felt so smooth and clean and pure. It was as empty as a new day, just waiting to be filled with whatever I chose to fill it with. What a delicious feeling. What a gift!
I excitedly rolled that page into my typewriter and began tapping away on the keys. I watched as words appeared, then sentences. I couldn’t believe that what had been just a thought in my head was appearing on that blank canvas, right before my eyes! The reality of this scared me. “What if I make a mistake? I can’t just erase it, it’s ink!” I thought. The paper felt so special to me, I didn’t want to waste even one piece of it!
Well, it turns out, I did make mistakes. A lot of them. But I never wasted even one sheet of paper. With every piece I crumpled up and threw away, I was one page closer to what worked for me, what felt right.
When I was nine years old I wrote a song for my mother, which she made me sing ALL the time! After she died a couple of years ago, I found it tucked away in an envelope, inside her box of treasures. She had saved it for all these years.
I am humbled to realize that my thoughts are creations. MY creations. And that what I create can be powerful enough to touch someone so deeply, they treasure it for a lifetime.
What a powerful gift we come equipped with…and Santa not required (sorry Santa!).
If you would like to see the original song I wrote, click here.
Shared with love by Denise Barry. To learn more about Denise, click here.