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Image by Bethany Cirlincione

White Space

(c) Linda Hutchison October 2016

To be read slowly - largo.

The page waits blankly in front of me. It’s my veil, my mask. My thoughts float towards it, waiting for their turn to appear. They stir the surface, forming ripples that spread outwards and then fade away. Which ideas will I take and impress upon the page? Which thoughts will I allow to dissipate, never to appear in print?

Will I hold words out to you like an olive branch, seeking your forgiveness or acceptance? Or will I paste a layer of words over my heart to protect it from your view? Will I build an agreeable façade of acceptable ideas, or challenge you to authenticity with words declaring what I really think?

Will I unload some deep held resentment or pain, or hold onto them for a while longer? If I allow the pain to appear, will the page droop under its weight, and the letters darken with intensity? Will the weight lift from my soul as the grief appears on paper? Will my words leave you feeling bruised and saddened? Will I permit myself to bleed before your gaze, if only to help you process your pain?

Will I bring you instead words of sunshine and daisies? Will I take you to a summer’s day, a dewy glass of homemade lemonade, and a shady apple tree? Will I then build dark clouds that blow over and rain on your serenity, sending you scurrying for shelter? Or will I lay you quietly in a gaily striped hammock, your head resting on a pillow, as the warmth of the afternoon soothes away your cares?

Will my words burst onto the page, boldly shouting in your face before slipping away, or will they sit quietly, demurely in order like soldiers awaiting inspection. Will I throw them out randomly, violently, without particular thought to their impact? Or will I choose the words that link you to me carefully, placing each one with precision as jewels are set in gold.

Will my words be spiky and uncomfortable, biting into your conscience? Will they be inflammatory, pouring like salt on an invisible wound? Will they freeze your soul, or warm it like an open log fire? Will they fall gently like snowflakes and drift inconsequentially through your mind? Or will they hit you like hailstones and lightning, pinning you against the ground? Will they rub warmly against you, demanding your attention like a basketful of puppies?

Will I dust the pristine white page lightly with rosy words of love, brush it vividly with orange shades of excitement, or stoke it to a fiery red glow with tales of passion. Will I cool it down to shades of blue, green and grey with salty sagas of seafarers? Do I dare to paint it black?

Will the lines I write fall like parallel swirls of noodles, rapidly swallowed, easily digested and readily forgotten? Or will they find an artistic place on my page, perfectly positioned for savouring; their memory lingering on your literary palate?

What will you see when you hold up my page? Will you see me? Will you see a reflection of yourself? Will you disappear into unknown worlds, only to emerge unscathed in a few hours’ time? Will you see things that I never expected you to see? Will my words be signposts to unintended destinations?

And what will lie in the space between my words? What will you read between my lines? Will I leave you a secret message that blurs into view in the heat of a candle flame? Or will there be nothing between the lines but space that I’ve deliberately left for you to pause and breathe.

Only you will decide if it’s my space, or my words, that reveal more.


White Space: Work
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