Monday, January 16, 2006

Today I give you a Monday Essay, as I will be out of town on Wednesday. The following is by my dear friend, Christine Falcone. I told her when I read this piece again that it is "a poem, a meditation, a litany," which is also why I have not added any paragraph breaks. I think you'll agree.

Blank Paper
by Christine Falcone

Sheets of blank paper remind me of sails or parachutes, or perhaps some work of art by Christo. They remind me of possibility, potential, all that lies before us. They are the future, an unwalked stretch of wet sand on a beach. They have come so far, these humble pieces of paper. From the cloud in the sky releasing its water, to the water itself falling back to the Earth it was originally claimed from, connecting with the soft, lush loam of undergrowth where it feeds the roots of some tower of a tree, perhaps a redwood – a thing that has made its own journey through time and space, through centuries and histories. This piece of paper has come so far to find itself here in this room of six, to be waved around like a white flag, symbol of surrender. In The Heart of Understanding, Thich Nhat Hanh writes about the importance of seeing all this in a single sheet of paper: the logger who felled the tree, the hands that operated the machines in the mill, the truck drivers involved in its transport. We must look at a thing and see how we are all interrelated, must understand the lacey web of our connectedness. As your pen scratches the surface of your white paper, the same ink that flows down to the tip runs through my pen, like the blue blood that runs through our veins, just below the surface of our same soft skin, like spider webs or tributaries. We all rest like a whole note in the name “mammal”, claim it as our own. I am living, breathing energy, pulsing, vibrating in strings maybe, just like you, your children, your children’s children, this candle, its flame, this bell, its handle. When I listen to you read, I close my eyes because I can more deeply feel your breath, know your heart, sense your voice, your soul, the soft body of your existence (as my friend Claudia wrote), and I can in this way, lay claim to it, devour it, metabolize the words and, by some trick of alchemy, make them mine.

Christine Falcone is a writer and mother who lives in Novato, California with her husband, daughter and their slightly deranged cat, Spot. Her first writing project began at the age of seven; her first office was in her bedroom closet. Since that time, she's come out of the closet and now writes in her cozy, at-home office swinging from one of her daughter's naptimes to the next as if they were green, leafy vines.

Her work has appeared in print in Women's Voices, Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Essay, Artists Dialogue and Bust Out Stories; online at WordRiot,; and on air at KRCB 91.1 FM . Her award-winning documentary film work has also aired nationally on public television and at various film festivals. She is currently working on her
first novel entitled, This Is What I Know.


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Patry Francis said...

Gorgeous writing.


Post a Comment

<< Home