The Agony of Being Word-less

(Photograph: Max Oppenheim/Getty)

(Photograph: Max Oppenheim/Getty)

There’s an old joke about a plain white piece of paper.

What is it?, the artist asks anybody who would listen.

The answer: “It’s a polar bear in a snowstorm with its eyes closed.”

I’m not very artistic, so I can’t come up with a clever quip as to why I haven’t banged out a blog post in this spot for the better part of two weeks.

It hasn’t been for a lack of trying, or a lack of things to spew on about.

For some reason, though, the spark just hasn’t been there to do it.

And when you write for a living I find that troublesome.

Some people might call it writer’s block. I’ve had writer’s block, and I’m not quite sure it’s that.

And, it hasn’t been because of a lack of topics either. My professional career has been sent on a tangent that could be written about 100 different ways. But the transitional phase being what it is, I’m along for the ride right now and letting things play themselves out. I don’t want to put the cart before the horses, or lead my editor’s to water in hopes they don’t drink, or add your own odd idiom here.

A title for a blog post came to me not long ago. “The Day The Music Died … Again.” It came within minutes of the news that Prince Rogers Nelson, AKA just “Prince”, had died. I could have written 1,000 words on my feelings about that.

Only not a single post came in the hours, days or week after.

Just the polar bear, sitting in the snow storm, with its eyes closed tight.

My guess is the bear simply didn’t want to see the writer struggling to find his words, but what do I know about polar bears? If they shit in a snowstorm, certainly that would show up on the page, right?

There have been other things, as well. Facebook friends disappearing. Poof — here yesterday, gone today and tomorrow. I suppose if they were true friends, in the present-day sense, I would have had a phone number to drop a line or a text, saying, “Hey notice you’re facebook profile disappeared. Hope you are well.”

But I didn’t even write that.

I’ve been writing for work and that’s it.

Have-To stories, instead of I-Want-To tales.

This morning, I came here again, with nothing really to write. So, I figured, why not write about nothing.

By doing that, the page is no longer just white.

Call it me kicking in the door and just writing about something. Anything. Even if it’s nothing.

Put two letters together … “o o” … and the polar bear can have eyes.

And there is always tomorrow.

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