this canvas is blank. does that mean it's time for me to start afresh?
that's one of the side effects of blank canvas -- it brings thoughts that you can start afresh. we both know that's not true. there is no fresh starts, not for you. not for me.
fresh starts belong only to those who don't even know that they're starting. the point at which you're like 'ah what a fresh new canvas'; ie when you know and recognize that this canvas is in fact blank and empty, you have lost the ability to start truly fresh.
we all have baggage; the canvas is but a new place to put it.
or not put it, as the case would have it. but it's there, whether you place it down or carry it with you or leave it behind.
i went to a talk with Jose Diaz once. i didn't used to understand why people went to see favorite writers and thinkers talk, but then my friend found out i had read about Oscar Wao and we went, we went to see Diaz. Diaz said a lot of things that day; he talked about activism and color and writing. he talked about characters. it surprised me, the number of things that he said and that i found fundamentally both true and novel. it's as if the words that writers write are a part of what they've got, to put on a canvas. and seeing them in real time was getting to get another, unedited, unpredicated part of that genius. i like going to see authors talk now, especially ones that write true and novel things.
Jose Diaz said something about characters that day. he said "when i write a character, i think about what it is that that character will not talk about; what is the thing that that person doesn't say".
what is the thing that you won't say on that blank canvas.
there are things that you aren't saying. the question is which of them are you holding, what is the baggage that you hold so close that its shadow gets cast out alongside your own, such that the shape you throw has morphed and grown to include it. and which is the baggage that you've put down, that which you have disowned, what you've walked away from. what have you abandoned or forgotten about on the way to this canvas, to this place, to this moment. it may not be a thing that you subscribe to, but it's there, it's a piece. it's a part of the larger story, just the same.
Jul 20, 2017
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