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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Drawing a #blank. By John von Daler

                 Ah, all the writers who fear blank pages! Karen #Blixen loved them. She recounted how a certain cloister in Portugal cultivated fields of flax to make into sheets for the wedding nights of brides of the nobility.  The morning after the great event the sheets would be returned to the cloister to be framed and hung up in a gallery so that the great and the rich could see evidence of the virtue of their women. Karen Blixen goes on to say that the most interesting of all the displays was of course the blank one.

                Laurence #Sterne too loved the blank page. He even inserted one in Tristram #Shandy as a kind of a service for the reader. A new and beautiful female character was to be introduced in his novel. As he could not be sure of the tastes of his male readers, he introduced a white sheet of paper on which they could write their own description of her and thus gain satisfaction by witnessing their version of a beautiful woman take part in a plot as yet unknown to them.
                I too love the blank page. Seeing one I turn into a pizza chef. Spinning the supple but delicate page into the air I feel it landing in my hands and as I twirl it yet another time and throw it towards the sky I'm thinking, Hmmm. What will I put on this one? A luscious red sauce garnished with warm delights, or should I melt away a spicy thought and garnish it with something piquant?

                Sometimes when I have no customers, I just leave it blank and put it in my oven for a good baking. When it comes out, firm and just a little brown around the edges, I look around to see if I am being watched before I down it quickly, without a thought and all alone. And so I live to write another day.

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