The Blank Page

Day 013 – August 4, 2011

Today was the first day for my children’s School. Their bus arrived at 6:45am, which to me is an unholy time for any child to be on a bus, and whisked them away to their educational future.

My lovely wife was picked up by her carpool and went to her work.

At 7:30am, the door closed and I was in the house by myself and facing a new situation.

I am staring at a blank page.

I am in a foreign country with no employment activities to clog up my schedule. I can finally work on all of the goals I have had in the back of my brain but have not had the time to do courtesy of that pesky obligation called a job.

Here in Peru, with time enough at last, I can free the (at least) four books that have been running around my head.

Here in Peru, as a house-husband, I can become more involved in the lives (educational and social) of my children.

I am staring at a blank page.

As I stare at the new document in Microsoft Word, the whiteness of the blank page I see in front of me, both metaphorically and literally, is a cause for great joy and trepidation.

This blank page is ready for me to fill it in with whatever I can conjure be it books, short stories, blog postings, e-books, house-husband, volunteer coach, homework helper, and so much more.

Yet, it is this same blankness that leaves me paralyzed.

With all due respect to Friedrich Nietzsche, I must modify his famous quote and say that when you stare into the blank page, the blank page stares back at you.

I am afraid that the blank page is mocking me.

What if all the creative ideas swimming around my head are just swill? What if I can’t write my way out of a paper bag? What if I can’t cook, clean, or keep a clean house? What if I find that I despise volunteering?

I am staring at a blank page.

The cursor is blinking, waiting for me to make a move. I realize that once I move, all my notions will start to become a reality, but maybe they are better left as the wispy notions of a dreamer.

Then again, as Robert Browning put it, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for.

So I place my hands on the keyboard ready to fill up the page. I press a key and let’s see where it takes me.

About sinpolaris

sinpolaris is the psuedonym of a guy who likes to write.

Posted on November 26, 2011, in Peru and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hello,
    I somehow linked to your blog about 2 weeks ago from some other blog. I’ve read several posts and I hope you continue to document your time in Peru. It’s very interesting to me because my husband and I moved to Quito, Ecuador from Canada in August to teach at a private school here. It’s kind of neat to read about other people’s similar experiences. This entry of yours particularly caught my interest as I am sitting here at home on my first day of unemployment in a foreign country. Sadly, my teaching gig didn’t go as planned. The stress was destroying me from the inside so I made a big decision to resign after only 3 months while my husband is still teaching. It sounds like we have a lot of the same ambitions for unemployment: reading books (beyond the 8th grade level novels that I was recently teaching), cooking real food, cleaning and keeping a clean house, being a better, more supportive family member, spend more time studying Spanish, achieving personal goals…. Yet I can’t help but feel totally lost today – my first day on my own. So far I’ve checked my email 3 times and watched re-runs of sitcoms on online TV…. Alright, time to fire up the vacuum! Good luck and keep writing!

    • Thanks for the comments. Sorry to hear about your teaching job not working out due to the stress. I knew coming into Peru that I would be jobless so I could afford to figure out how to fill my time. This blog was one of the ways. Writing about my (mis)adventures means that I have to go out and experience stuff outside of the house to write about it. Don’t know if that’s an idea you would be willing to try. I’m trying to avoid being insipid and cliche (and failing), but there’s something out there for you (it could be poetry…who knows?). Take your time – don’t rush – and don’t worry about feeling lost. Totally natural.

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