Monday, November 11, 2013

Staring At An Empty Page

Usually when I sit down to write, I have some idea of where the article is going.  At least an idea of what I want to convey to whomever might stumble upon my writing.  I've often written the entire blog entry in my head before I ever sit down at the keyboard  hammering out the actual words and sending it out into cyberspace.  But sometimes I don't.  Sometimes, I sit down at the keyboard and stare at the blank screen with no idea of what to write.  And sometimes what my fingers type is brilliant, even though I had no idea where I was going when I first sat down.  (More often it's absolute bunk, but I like to pretend that those particular samples of my writing simply don't exist.)

There's something gloriously pure in that blank white screen.  Before that blinking cursor begins to spit out letters which turn into words which (hopefully) pull themselves into something worth reading.  Maybe it's why I hover there, fingers poised over the keys for at least several moments before I start to type.  In that blank screen is pure potential.  Absolutely anything could spill out across that blank screen.  Brilliance, humor, insight, drivel.  I have no inkling when I gaze upon that blank computer screen. It's humbling and awesome and occasionally overwhelming.

It's how I felt the first time I held each of my babies.  Like I was gazing into the glorious pure potential of everything that tiny little person could be and everything they could bring to the world.  I held my breath and hovered in that moment, holding it sacred before that human started to pull itself into being.  Anything could have come pouring out of that life. Brilliance, humor, insight..... It's humbling and awesome and absolutely overwhelming.

And then the little bits of that person came slowly into focus, sometimes coaxed by parents and environment, sometimes already programmed through ages of genetic selection.  Like letters and then words that spill onto a blank page...the person wrapped inside that tiny body started to come into focus. And the gifts they have to give came pouring out into my life.  (Most often in the form of things that fill diapers. But also in smiles and tenderness and beautiful innocence.)

But in those first moments I gazed into the eyes of each of my precious children...how could I have known what absolute brilliance and beauty waited to unfold before me?  Like staring at an empty page.

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