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Colouring The Cosmic Canvas

Knife Painting by  Francoise Nielly

Knife Painting by Francoise Nielly

The blank page.

It’s a funny thing, really, because this page is no longer blank. As I’m writing this, it’s filling up. Three lines and counting. Yet when I started, before putting finger to key, it was there  white, pure, wholesome; perfect and patient.

In a way, there is no improving upon it. All I can do is mar it with these marks  these marks that you are now taking into your brain in the hopes that they may tell you something, or, at the very least, entertain. Yet the fact remains, there is no perfection beyond that of the blank page. Just as white is the sum total of all colours combined, yet at the same time, the absence of all colour, so too does the blank page hold the ability to communicate the perfect essence of all you truly are: nothing.

Why, then, bother? Because I’m obsessed  as we all are, in our own ways. Out of the nothingness comes so much somethingness. I have a lot to say, too much  it’s all jumbled up in my head  by no means a blank page  and I need somewhere to go that I can organize it somehow, get it in line, have it make sense; somewhere that allows me to give the words the proper treatment they deserve. This is the gracious gift the blank page provides.

I cannot speak it out. Not in real time, anyway. That blank page remains too quick for my plodding mind. It’s always been this way. As a child I had a stutter. Not the kind you typically think of when you hear the term  ‘st-st-st-stutter’  but the other kind, the kind where there are long pauses in the formation of the sentence you are trying to speak, because you so desperately want the words to properly do justice to the thought they’re representing, so you stumble a little, delay a lot, trying to get it perfect. And, while I have improved immensely, the page remains the place where I do most of the speaking that matters.

Far from the daunting experience so many others claim it to be, I find the stark white of the empty screen and the solitary, blinking pulse of the cursor at once the most relaxing sensation and the most invigorating.

It is infinite potential. Out of the nothing can spring entire worlds, galaxies, multiverses; out of it can come aspects of yourself you didn’t know existed, talking back at you with a mind far more fierce than the one that put it there; out of it can come not only the concept of God, but the experience of it/him/her/whathaveyou, whatyoumay, whatis. It is not a joke, and yet, it is the sweetest cosmic giggle one can experience.

That's what's so wonderful about it. It is the doorway, the void from which all things spring, the alpha and omega, and everything in between. It is perfect love  the beautiful blank nothingness of space itself strewn with the messy passion of the greatest painter, the most profound poet, the cook intent on seducing the palettes of their patrons so well they keep returning, time and again. It is unconditional  the love of the amateur talent, the tiniest tot with a crayon, the terrible tyranny of the disaffected has-been raging at the world all do it a wonderful justice. Even those shysters, those dirty scammers who are wont to sell you nothing but lurid pretense and hackneyed hope do it a favour by bestowing their particular brand of beauty upon it.

Don’t you see? The blank page is home. It is the same canvas God used at the very beginning of creation. It is where all of us came from and where we’re all headed back to. So bang it out. Blow it up. Stay with it, let it ripple out as long as it may, but don’t forget, you’re free to crumple it up and throw it away any time you like.

There’s always another waiting.