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A Love Letter to the Page

March 24, 2010

Dear Notebook, Blank Computer Screen, Empty Page,

I realized today that you have been my dearest friend. Come now! Don’t protest! It’s true.

While I am blessed to have a few close friends, many lovely, caring acquaintances, and family members who attempt to accept, if not completely understand me, you have been the constant in my life.

As a child and teenager, I could always count on you to take me away. I found solace in your silence. You didn’t preach or lecture. You didn’t tell me I was too young to feel the way I did or remind me to be grateful for what I had on those occasions when I just WASN’T. You were the guardian of my inner-most thoughts, the keeper of every secret. With you, I didn’t have to worry that I would seem stupid or that you would belittle my often melodramatic (but no less real or powerful) thoughts and dreams.

Throughout my life, when I have needed to say something difficult and been too cowardly to express my feelings aloud, you have ferried my words with grace. You’ve given me the time to find just the right way to say even the most painful things – a gift to both myself and the recipient of the words in question. You have allowed me to express the deep and abiding love for those in my life for whom my feelings are so tremendous, so overwhelming, that I would surely commit the worst of all sins – crying in front of someone – should I be forced to speak them aloud (like that time I tried to talk to the video camera on Kenneth’s first birthday).

You have been a shield behind which I could hide, a platform for changing my life and the lives of others. You have sheltered me from the batterings of the world by giving me a place to focus my complicated mind and a repository for the many, many stories that clutter it on a daily basis. You have reminded me, time and time again, what matters. What I need to be truly fulfilled and at peace. It is always a pleasant surprise to remember how small are those needs – my family, a hot cup of tea, and you.

You have provided me with a way to support my family. A way that allows me to drive my children to school, to pick them up when they are ill, to be here when they get home. When I sit with Rebekah and have tea after school, listening to her talk about her day, it’s because of you. When I pick Andrew up from track and get a rare moment of openness, it’s because of you.  When I see Caroline saunter up to the car in her army jacket, full of stories only a fifth grader could tell, it’s because of you. When I talk with Kenneth about music and life while we sit in a darkened theater every Friday morning, it’s because of you.

You have given me the gift of contact with many wonderful people. People who are compassionate and intelligent and insightful and enthusiastic about life. Then, there are the many imaginary characters and places that will be a part of me forever. Every story, every character, every town, house, flowering tree that inhabits the stories of my life, is a part of who I am. They enrich my life, and I have you to thank for them, too. It’s a blessing to meet talented writers from every corner of the globe, to read their work with wonder and to realize with excitement that I still have so much to learn. That, too, is because of you.

You are the best friend anyone could every ask for. You stand silent and without judgment, accepting me without condition. When I consign my feelings to you, I don’t need to apologize for being human. For feeling jealous or angry or sad or selfish or weak or tired or apathetic or bitter or petty or small.

Best of all, no matter how difficult things get, no matter how complicated, you are always waiting at the end of the day.

And somehow, that makes everything okay.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2010 4:00 pm

    love this michelle!

  2. March 25, 2010 3:50 am

    You touched me with this post, Michelle. Thank you for articulating so beautifully what I,too, have always felt.

  3. March 24, 2010 11:20 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Lovely post. I’ve seen others write “odes” to their pens, their books, and their muses. But never to the page itself. Yet that is where it all begins.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. March 24, 2010 11:19 pm

    Beautiful, as Erin said took the words right out of my mouth. This is exactly what writing feels like to me. A lifeline, a place where I am not judged by anything but the page and the words. Thank you for this post Michelle. Although I have been writing since I was 12, this post sums up what I feel every time I put words on the page. Awesome post.

  5. Rebekah permalink
    March 24, 2010 9:09 pm

    Hmmm…. This was purely beautiful, Mommy. Jenny’s right; how does one respond to such a post without sounding clumsy and inarticulate? It was so powerful…. you spin words into webs of beauty. I love you ❤

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      March 24, 2010 9:12 pm

      Aw, I love you back, Sweet Pea. So much!


  6. March 24, 2010 6:46 pm

    I. Love. This. You literally took the words out of my mouth. This is exactly how I feel about my writing and it’s how I’ve felt since fourth grade when it became my lifeline.

    Thank you for this blog post, Michelle. I shall now print it off and put it with the other (two) writerly blog posts that I keep for inspiration and smiles. 🙂

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      March 24, 2010 8:14 pm

      You’re so welcome, Erin. Isn’t it wonderful, too, to have such profound and complex love for writing and to know that there are others who feel the very same way? How incredible is that?


      • March 24, 2010 8:45 pm

        It’s amazing. It really is. It’s one of the reasons I’m so glad I’m not the only writer in my group of friends (that I’ve been with since high school), otherwise a lot of my whims would seem really bizarre. Funny thing is…I’m not the weirdest writer in my group. haha ❤

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        March 24, 2010 9:14 pm

        I would like to meet these weird friends of yours!


  7. Lily Stone permalink
    March 24, 2010 3:19 pm

    Wow. I didn’t know a blog about such a topic could be so powerful.
    You are the ultimate master of words. You are so incredibly capable of using them and weaving them together to make such a simple concept seem like magic, and we all fall under your amazing spell.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      March 24, 2010 8:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Lily! That means the world to me.


  8. Jenny permalink
    March 24, 2010 12:14 pm

    Gah… How does one respond to such a lovely blog post without sounding clumsy and inarticulate?! I adore this post, Michelle!! I love how you command your inner- self onto the “empty” page through your beautiful use of words.We would all be less fortunate were it not for this compulsion of yours to write. Your honesty, and the way you share yourself so openly, are fairly awe-inspiring. I feel like you’ve just handed me a page from your diary.<3

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      March 24, 2010 8:11 pm

      Aw, thank you, Jenny. I’ve just been thinking lately how much of a lifeline my writing is. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.


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