"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Empty Pages

“Your Life is in Your Hands. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
I recently read “Tis Herself”, Maureen O’Hara’s autobiography. I’ve always been a fan of her acting, but had only a glimpse of her strength both on and off screen. This book reflects her pride, determination and sense of fairness. I believe she has offered an honest and candid review of her life, and her relationships with some of Hollywood’s greatest. This book is worth its price and your time.
In her last chapter The Empty Page O’Hara concludes her memoir by addressing the reader:
“How will you fill your empty pages? I pray that all you young people, middle-aged people, and old people like me live each day and enjoy each day, and when God calls you, that you answer Him and go willingly. But leave your mark on the world, on your children and on all the people that you leave behind so that they will be brave and leave brave memories.”
Our lives are filled with an endless stream of content and commentary. Our faith, family, friends, careers, hobbies, responsibilities and desires all pull us in different directions. Books, television, movies and the internet; facebook, twitter, blogs etc. are all vying for our attention.
An empty page can mean many things - a day so rich there was no time to write, a day so empty it seemed there was nothing worth saying, or perhaps the forward march of life simply outpaced the writer’s commitment to self-documentation.
“Life piles up so fast that I have no time to write out the equally fast rising mound of reflections.”
Virginia Woolf
What is the value of the glaringly blank page? Handwritten diaries are full of words on paper, but they’re often full of intriguing blank spaces as well. An intriguing pause, a physical marker of emotional passage—an empty space for reflection and remembrance. Are these blank pages a result of writers block/fear, of a decline in health or just a powerful void marking a full life? The empty page in the diary is equivalent to a moment of silence, which can sometimes resonate just as loudly as the best-chosen words.
How will your empty pages be filled? Will your life be too full to record?  Will you diligently work to pass on your stories to your children and grandchildren? There is no wrong answer. So go, be brave and fill those empty pages.


Lorelei Bell said...

This was great, Sylvia. Thank you for sharing!

Jessica Ferguson said...

Excellent post. I've been reading through the journals of my father in law so this really speaks to me.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Great post, Sylvia. Love the Ghandi quote.

Arlee Bird said...

I wish I had been trying to fill more empty pages in my years before I started blogging. Like Woolf says, life's experiences become so overwhelming sometimes that it difficult to keep up with trying to record them and then reflect on them.

The life of a busy writer is a busy life.

Wrote By Rote

Anonymous said...

What a dynamite post! I loved this, Sylvia. Thanks so much for sharing something I've never really thought about before.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love the quote and this post!!! I hope I fill my empty pages with love for my family, my writing, and my faith . . . but I know there are empty pages that reflect other things too.

Ruth Douthitt said...

Great post! I used to journal regularly. Now I blog...it isn't the same as the written word! I need to get back into journaling. But at least I have many journals to leave my son. He can read them and get a glimpse into who his mom really was!

Anonymous said...

Such a small think. ;-) But such a great idea

Unknown said...

A thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I'm a Maureen O'Hara fan and would like to read her autobiography.

Quilters' Quarters said...

Lovely, thought provoking post. I feel the nudge to fill more pages, making up for the busy and for the too sad years that were left unrecorded.

Thanks for this nudge, Sylvia!