Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blank Pages


I write my first drafts in 5" by 8" hardcover "Cambridge Limited" journals that have the look and feel of leather stretched over very dense paper board. These miniature easels encourage me to write in measured, and God willing, thoughtful, bursts. I sit at home in our living room recliner, our Golden Retriever Cali at my feet, the analog tablet in my lap awaiting inspiration to scroll magically across its lines.

As a parent of an addicted child it seems there is never a lack of inspiration, ideas, feelings, victories and failures to share. My Muse is active, busy, committed.

I have filled six of these notebooks since 2012 when I felt called to create this site and perhaps lend a helping hand and provide occasional laughter to members of our not so exclusive club.

Yesterday I went to Office Depot as is my ritual when it is time to replace a completed journal. I chose black, replacing its burgundy-colored cousin that had no more room for any musings. I paid the retail price of a little over $11 for my easel and canvas. Amazon users can cringe as much as you like. This trek to Office Depot is a necessary and critical part of my ritual. It's a writer thing.

The next morning I opened the notebook for the first time and my Muse was for a brief moment stunned by the challenge of the 80 pages to be filled.

Just as quickly I was struck by the beauty of what lay before me, the beauty of possibility of blank pages screaming to be filled, one day at a time.

So I wrote on the top of the first page, "Blank Pages". I wrote these words mindlessly, unsure exactly of what I was about to compose. I simply trust that these books, metaphors of my journey of recovery, are measured not in weeks, months, years or decades, but in daily possibilities that each blank page offers. Each of these blank pages are ushered in by every sunrise, every alarm blast, every breakfast's bacon sizzle or pancake flip.

Each recovering parent of an addict has his or her blank page to fill every day. We never know what those eighty pages will look like when we finally retire that last notebook filled with struggles, victories, experience strength and hope. We never know how long it will be before the pages are filled.

What we have control over is that first line, the next page, then the next, and the one after that - until we have done enough and can breathe, relax, and put "pen and paper" down until the next day.

The blank pages I encounter each day are daunting in magnitude but exhilarating in possibility. I take one word, one thought, one beginning middle and end at a time, as they come.

This is the wonderful astonishing dance of life if we can trust in the Universe and our unknown stories that lay before us.

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