I opened a new document today and, for the first time, saw something I had never noticed before: the natural state of a blank page.
For a number of years it was a struggle to simply roll out of bed, and for a period of time that struggle was won and lost by the hour. Racing thoughts clouded the mind like external forces stirring up clay particles in a muddy pond. Eventually, enough stability existed to allow some of those particles of clay to settle to the bottom, clearing the water a bit and providing the mind an avenue to return to some sense of its natural state. It is a weekly struggle that I still face at times, but it is far different than the hourly struggle I once knew.
Of all the passages that have inspired, all the quotes and meaningful insights that authors have written, I think it will be the blank page that I frame and hang upon the wall for inspiration. In its natural state, the blank page is to writing what the mind is to racing thoughts; it is the natural state of water in a pond, minus turbidity; clean with a smooth surface.
What we read, see, or experience from the outside is rarely the page’s natural state. It is a reflection of various external forces acting upon it. These reflections can be just as clear as a blank page, or just as muddy as the water of a pond acted upon by wavering external forces.
The next time you open a blank page I hope you'll reflect on its meaning. And when you write upon it, I hope you'll think about what your words will reflect. One could do far worse than to recognize the natural state beneath the reflections of external forces.