For a writer, there are few things as daunting as a blank page. Its like getting into a car knowing you have to go somewhere, but like a bad dream, you don’t know where it is you have to be. And the clock is ticking! (Why is time always running out?) In fact, life’s moments are just racing by as one faces the void--a very luminous one on a 27” Mac--whose quiet force stares back with the assurance that it is a much better brain than you...and you damn well know it!
The diarist Anais Nin, who was a huge influence early on (when I lived in London in the 70s), said she could never not find something to write about. As one looks out--more through screens than windows--at the fast-changing world, it is hard, particularly as a writer, not to add one's two cents. Indeed, having nothing to say would almost disqualify one from the Writer’s Club.
(A literary agent I met defined a highly prolific, but as-yet unpublished writer as merely “busy” as opposed to “working”. So who IS a writer?...But I digress.)
Lately, the big world beyond my cyber window-screen has seemed particularly daunting. The geo-political changes alone, to say nothing of the tectonic ones, are so big; so world-shattering--literally--that one hardly knows where to begin to address what is going on. The polarization on every front--extremists to the right of me; extremists to the left of me!--are pointing to each their own doomsday scenario. And against all logic and the voice in our hearts, too many have been convinced that maintaining wars and rich bankers equals freedom...belief's that clearly are not taking us to where we say we want to go.
Then these words: “Start with a one inch picture frame.” That’s the best writing advice I was ever given. Begin with the smallest detail, then pull back. Don’t start globally; there’ll be no end to the description required. Start with one, not one hundred.
Which brings me to my point (yes, a point, after all!). We’re still 99 percent "We the People" vs. the 1 percent who own almost everything and keep nearly all profits. (A fact, by the way, not some left-leaning jargon.) One-man-one-vote is still our ultimate political power. A one inch picture frame may not seem like it reveals very much; but collectively...well, that may be our last hope to create a global landscape that includes everyone. What democracy that's left resides in our humble vote, and it remains our ultimate power. Let's use it before they, the one percent, start spinning that against us, too. Unthinkable, maybe...but can't you see them trying?