Balking at a blank canvas

I hate white spaces.

I especially hate big empty blank pages.

Lined pages aren’t so bad. Squared sheets, like they use in France, are less terrifying again.

But it’s the pure, unadulterated, crisp, unblemished white page that really sends me into a cold sweat. Even rendered digitally, it looms large in the mind. Seemingly sentient. Waiting. Staring. Judging. In fact it’s almost worse as it bathes you in the cool but ultimately bleak light of your own trepidation.

And it doesn’t end there. The blank canvas looms large at me in ever ingenious fashions. There it is now, casually taunting me from it’s whiter-than-ivory tower of “opportunity”. Oh yes, the blank canvas is adept at propaganda. There are many “opportunities” when you are offered a blank canvas. “You could do anything!” it sneers. “The world is your oyster…” it coos. “You’re so lucky to have a chance like this.” it sets you up for the final, killing blow – “Your only limit is your own imagination.”

Because what if your imagination isn’t enough? What if you don’t take full advantage of this situation? You could agonise for days over what to put on that sacred piece of proverbial parchment. Searching books and newspapers and magazines and in-flight pamphlets for inspiration. TV shows and movies and the internet and friends are plumbed for possible sources of creativity. Your mind flip-flopping between ideas, concepts, words & pictures until you stumble across something in the whole jumbled-up mess, a glint, a grain, a glob of truth. And you grab it. And it’s tantalising. And it’s terrible. And it’s too late.

Because you see, once that virgin surface is sullied with the first drawing of your stylus. There is no way back. There are no erasers, keystrokes or brainwashing techniques that will completely eradicate an ill-thought out line. A well-worn cliché. A tired metaphor. A hackneyed example.

And perhaps I haven’t managed it either.

But at least this bloody page isn’t blank any more!


2 responses to “Balking at a blank canvas

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