The miracle of the blank page

Famous writers say that the biggest adversary they find is the blank page. I disagree. The biggest hurdle is to keep pushing when the storyline goes into detail when you laid out the whole plot and know how it ends and must fill in the middle holes. That’s when it gets tedious and painful for me, not when you have a blank page full of opportunity and excitement. With a blank page, you can take the writing anywhere; it could be a tweet like communication, a novel or a tome of a book, it could be fiction or non-fiction or even fiction-non-fiction (which sounds like the world we live in right now). Had you told me some ten years back that a bully with a scattered mind would be ruling over the USA. Had you told me that people in Venezuela would not be able to buy simple things as a toilet paper and that its president would create a currency connected to a crypto-currency. Had you told me that in Germany you’d have extreme right-wing protests matching those in the US who would be separating families, much like the Nazis did to the Jews, in daylight. Had you told me that climate change would evolve so fast and that summers and winters no longer exist, just extreme disasters happening more and more around the globe, like old volcanoes erupting, red algae killing all the marine life in Florida, intense rains and fires destroying vast areas of countries. Had you told me that it would be acceptable to see in the news European leaders from Italy to Hungary actively sending immigrants away (ignoring how much of their population emigrated to the Americas not so long ago). Had you told me all of that, I would have said that I’d see the movie, or read the books because that author was super creative (if, also severely dystopic). So you when I read just yesterday two pieces of news from creatives describing a first-hand experience with what is called LSD micro-dosing, I was stunned. Can it be that the more reality gets crazy and unpredictable, the creative juices of humans stop flowing? If you look at what is in the movies or TV these days, you can certainly agree with me. Rebooted series from the 80s, movies with the same character and storyline are now Marvel and DC industries, not even trying something new within that format. Do we need to get high (or micro-high) to let our imagination do what it always did, but we trained it not to? By all means, I’m not professing and anti-drug manifesto here. If the drugs don’t affect the users negatively and most of all if they don’t harm others, go ahead. The separation of pharmacy drugs, leisure drugs and smart” drugs seems very artificial and subjective to me. They are all shots, pills or powder, which one gets to create an effect in one’s body or mind. If you are feeling tired constantly and go to a pharmacy and they give you some magnesium, is that wrong? Then how is it wrong to get a pill that will help you remember things better? Or apparently micro-dose” LSD to get more creative and write, or make new and exciting art? As long as there is no harm to anyone, we should be okay with it. After all, society has been okay with cigarette smoking and alcohol binging for a long time, and those have already been proved to be bad for you. The concept that makes me pause here, though, is the fact that we must escape” reality to create within it. Or dare I say, survive in it. We live in a time with record high suicide rates, and though the I cannot blame anyone else” syndrome is exacerbated in wealthy societies today, I subjectively think that it’s more the lack of hope that things will get better and the feeling of impotence that leads people to the point of ending their own lives. I won’t go into euthanasia today but had to mention suicide as the ultimate escape from a reality of climate change ignorance, environment losing over consumerism and increasing racism. See where this blank page took me? To my fears and depressions. It’s a pretty negative note to end with, so let me tell you something that works for me. Don’t take the weight of the world onto your shoulders. Just take the weight of your house, or family, or neighbourhood, or whatever unit you feel comfortable with like starting with just yourself. The only thing you need to do, to make the world a better place, is to make it ever so slightly better for you and the people around you. Show a bit of gratitude, help a brother out, clean up your sidewalk if you see a piece of trash on it. Every little thing matters. But it only matters if we all do that little thing. It’s unfortunately increasingly clear that governments are not capable of handling things well. So, instead of feeling overwhelmed, let’s work on things on a more local level, where our impact is bigger, and the effort is smaller. And bit by bit, we’ll shine the light again.