Wreck This Journal: Blank

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Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing.  There is a page in Wreck This Journal that says, “Leave this page blank on purpose.”  It’s driving me nuts.

Oh, the possibilities!

Leave it blank?  Why put it in the journal if it has no purpose?  There’s nothing on the other side of the page, either!  For a doer such as myself, this was difficult to accept.  There I was with my tools of destruction at the ready and Keri Smith was asking me to leave them alone and do nothing.  My muse was ready to pop a gasket!

My fingers twitched as I considered the blank page in front of me.  I wanted to color in the letters – a pattern of green, blue, and purple – and I almost did it.  Then, it occurred to me that I was looking at this all wrong.  Instead of fighting the notion of nothing, I should be embracing it.

This is a big epiphany for a self-admitted busy body who has trouble letting an hour go by without filling it with some task, whether it be writing, creating, teaching, gardening, pondering, wondering, running, reading, watching movies, etc.  If any moment is filled with nothing, I feel like I’ve wasted something I can’t get back.  It took a stark page to get me to realize doing nothing is not the same as being lazy or wasting a moment.

Creativity isn’t about crossing things off a Wreck This Journal “to-do” list, but rather pitching the list altogether.  A page left untouched leaves the idea of possibilities infinitely open.  The same is true for an unfinished collage or a poem missing the last line.  Possibilities are in plentiful supply  if we slow down enough and regard them with patience.  Doing nothing is sometimes better than writing a thousand lines of words just to hit a word count goal or adding something to a painting just to call it done.  Sometimes doing nothing is what leads to the ultimate end.

My empty page still gives me an itch to color, bend, rip, or crumple, but it remains pristine. Meanwhile, my imagination continues to conjure new ways to wreck that page.  Every time I come across these instructions, I am reminded that without an empty canvas we have no reason to fill it.

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For previous Wreck This Journal posts please visit my tag cloud and sidebar. Stay inspired!

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c.b. 2012

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21 thoughts on “Wreck This Journal: Blank

  1. In the past, I have found it very difficult to not do anything. A friend challenged me to sit on my couch, not to read, write, have the radio on or the TV. I lasted about 2 min., then fell asleep sitting up. Not the first time. I’ve been known to doze even while meditating on my Zafu. I think my brain thinks, “Hey, if we’re not moving or doing anything, I’m catching some z’s.” Yes, there is a difference between laziness and “being”. It is a practice to “not do”. And it does open up lots of ideas. Perhaps it is a practice you’ll start by leaving one page “undone” in your journal, a blank page in a spiral notebook you’re writing in, or a “blank” piece of ground or empty pot in your garden. Hmmm . . .

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    • There’s a spot on my dining room table where things just pile up. It’s the one place in the house, where I choose to do nothing about it. At least until, three craft project pile up and still aren’t done. Then, I’ll sit down and have a marathon craft session. ;-)

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  2. Doing nothing is an art form. There are those who see taking a nap or simply sitting and thinking as scandalous, or lazy. I think it has something to do with being comfortable with yourself. Being comfortable with spending time with yourself, with no one or nothing to distract you. Silence is another thing that seems to drive people batty. Most of the people I know turn a TV on as soon as they walk in the house, even though they aren’t watching it, or have a radio on all the time at home, work and in the car, even though they don’t listen to it either. :-) As a Pirate, I am an expert at enjoying the silence, doing nothing or, heaven forbid, taking a nap!

    That said though, that page “could” use a small flower in the lower right corner. ;-)

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    • Ever since I got a porch swing, I’ve been a lot better about doing nothing. Lately, my favorite thing to do each day is sit outside and swing with my garden. And read a little bit. :-)

      I agree – a flower would be awesome. ;-)

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