Paper is a medium for recording the language of the mind, for sharing thoughts and images, for multiplying our perceptions into receiving hearts and minds, and for expanding the reach of our dreams and our creations.
My life is paper, paper, paper. The clutter in my home is paper, books, and more loose paper tucked into books and pressed between books. It is paper in all sizes, rips and folds, in white, ivory, and pastel hues interspersed, usurping space and weighing heavily throughout thirteen rooms of our compartmentalized Victorian home.
My husband relegates his thoughts and poetry neatly within notebooks. A compulsive writer at times, I scribble out my own thoughts – the mundane, the profound, and the absurd – and I’ve not been able to commit them to notebooks without ripping out pages.
Every once in a while, I think, “What if I were to die tomorrow?” Then the next thing I do is begin digging through thoughtlessly placed piles of books and paper, paper and books, and destroying my thoughts, one or several sheets at a time. My notes are on folded paper, on the backs of printing test runs, covering envelopes and backsides of grocery receipts. Embarrassed, I think, “If anyone were to see this, they would think I am utterly mad.”
Some of my lettering is neat as though I am proud of a thought or a bit of verse. Some is sloppy as though I am in a hurry. Some runs sideways up and down the sides of the pages, and little boxed or circled thoughts are squeezed into the blank spaces. There are lots of crossed out lines and directing arrows. Thoughts – simple, crazy, stupid – it’s embarrassing, yet I cannot help myself.
Why I spend so much time writing down my thoughts and verses only to throw them away is beyond me. Paper does make good fireplace tinder. But I do find immense joy in neatly packaging the words of other writers – perhaps because mine are scattered throughout the house, awaiting the moment in which I realize their insignificance and do away with them. I can only hope that packaging others’ words for them will ensure that I have no regrets.