The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Zero point

When a writer sits down to write, there is a confrontation with the void.  A blank piece of paper or empty computer screen stands for the existential emptiness that asks to be filled with something new.  The artist’s or writer’s pretension is that the by filling up this emptiness she is engaged in a pure act of creation.

That never is the case.   The new is always built upon millennial accretions of what went before.  For one additional foot of coastal marshland to rise above the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi delta mud must spread for a mile further out upon the bottom of the sea.  The first word written on an empty page is contingent on a thousand years of linguistic blending and mutation, and one hundred hands growing, pulping, rolling, cutting, trucking, and selling paper.

The zero point is not a starting place, it is a launching pad.

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Written by Tom Fox

06/20/2008 at 8:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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