Sunday, 19 March 2017

In A Time Of Illness The Blank Page Laughs At Me

Still ill.  I managed to get out on Friday and had a good time.  Then I sank again.  Yesterday was pretty rubbish.  I couldn't write a thing.  Today is looking like it won't be that much better.  By last night I was feverish for the first time in quite a while.  Mostly if I'm feeling rough and take my temperature the thermometer informs me that I am below average.  If I reach 36.5C it's a rarity.  If I hit that benchmark 36.8C it's front page news.  Last night I was way above that.  A proper fever.  Woo hoo!

I'm hoping to be able to write today.  I have a talk to write and the second half of that fortune cookie story.  And I was hoping to write a poem for a performance workshop today.  As it turns out I almost certainly won't be there and that's a sadness for me.

But there is this.  Written just now.  And published slightly later than I normally post these things.  Going away and then getting ill has stolen away any current hope of writing my posts a few days in advance.  I guess I'll get it back.  Just not today.

Blank page image from here.

Through black, blear eyes
I stare at an empty page.
It taunts me, jeers, tells me I am rubbish
For not being able to hold a pen
And make meaningful marks.
Each line shouting too loud
That it's not worthwhile me trying;
That nothing I could possibly say
Would be sufficient.
Each line a blank whiteness
An infinite possibility
And I do not have the guts to limit it
To my possibility, my vision and voice.
The page remains empty.
I look down upon it
More lost than an insignificance
In an ocean of dead calms and fire storms.
I cannot do it, cannot bring myself
To make the first mark
Scar skin with surgeon scalpel precision
I condemn myself too
Belittle myself because yesterday
This page remained just a page
A wilderness snow out in a sixty pence pad
Bought on a desperate day when
The word and sanity went hand in hand.
Today I am not a writer, not fit to be wordsmith
Today I am frightened, fogged, and anxiety asks
Whether I will ever be able to write again
Whether it's unrealistic to walk the artist's path
Whether this day is a sign I should quit.
The page abuses me, breaks heart and mind
Tells me I would only spoil its perfection
With the addition of inky contrasts.
And yet ... and yet?
The page is filled, the words written, almost outside volition.
Dark frustrated pen scratches but they are life
At least, life as I must live it today.
No less worthwhile than any other day.
The page was wrong and this scrawl not be Chaucerian
But it is my truth, undeniably embraced.

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