Tomorrow is Today

blankpage

Yesterday, this sentiment popped up on my Facebook feed set in various backgrounds. I like this one particularly. That it was so popular yesterday is no coincidence, for yesterday was New Year’s Eve, and today, of course, New Year’s Day. 2016.

Today is the beginning of a brand spanking new year with a pristine new book of 365 blank pages. It makes sense. Let’s start the new year with a blank slate and write our stories day-by-day. Here’s the rub: while the pages may be blank, none of us is a blank slate. Instead of chalk, our slates may be stained with indelible ink. It’s not easy to erase what’s already been written.

Blank pages are an altogether different thing. Nothing is written on them. They can be intimidating. Staring at us in the face. Blank. And, as much as we desire to fill up the pages with inspired poetry and prose, with promises and hopes, with dreams and desires, those blank pages voraciously feed on fear or judgment or regret, inducing a painful paralysis. The blank pages thus remain blank or, worse still, carbon copies of bygone, ink-stained pages.

Blank pages can be intimidating.

So, here at the start of 2016, every day is a blank page; that’s something I need to remember. Certainly, factors and circumstances beyond my control will assail me every day. I can’t stop that from happening. But, I can write each day however I choose. I have that agency. I can create the setting and the scene. I can populate the cast of characters. I can shape the main character in every way, controlling the tenor of her attitude and the tone of her speech. I’m writing the dialogue, after all.

Blank pages can be intimidating.

But, oh, think, too, of their possibilities.

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