Empty Canvas

Now here’s a blank sheet of paper before me. It cries emptiness, a canvas ready for the art. It calls to me, but I cannot bring it to life. There is nothing – and my pen weighs heavy. How do I paint a picture, how do I write?

I thought about the place. I saw that the sun shone on me. The people around, they seemed to care for nothing but their coffee, their touch-screen tools on their hands. I wanted to be alone, alone with the sun but more importantly alone. From all the indifferent people. All their noisy stray conversation about the most menial things. This is not the way I wanted to spend my Wednesday mornings. I wanted to be far away. As far away as possible from the city, the people, to spend some time alone where it was truly quiet. I wrap myself around the thought of true silence, the sweetest song, and I tried to write, but the words dangled and fastened to a place I could not reach and my canvas remained dry.

I thought about how I felt. I felt absent. Like I was amounting to nothing. But how could I when everything is still something? Even the space around me had the air to occupy it. Even I hear a ringing when all is silent. No, I felt the middle child, complete and then still lacking. For all the many things that I have seen and heard, they all make me feel like a phrase. A useless cog in the machine, faulty, cracking, rusting into a carapace, some useless scrap.

I thought less and less about the past, less and less about the future. I asked my girlfriend as she looked in the mirror, “Do you like what you see?” She had always told me that she had. But I never believed her. It was hard to. I knew well for myself that whenever I looked at my reflection, I loathed what I saw. Because I could be more. I could be more. Two steps forward, two steps back. My life’s always led me in circles. It was me riding at the back of life and I had let it drive me around, so this was my fault – I couldn’t blame circumstance for what would that do. Are you getting the picture?

The moon shone somewhere I could not see and there was nothing I could hear except the sound of a silence broken ever so often by the occasional car passing by. I was insecure. I was quiet. I was in the midst of nothingness, writing my heart out – and I wrote it right.

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