Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A White Respite

I've heard somewhere that white space is the most important part of the page. Our eyes focus easier and our minds comprehend better when there are large areas of blank space surrounding the words and paragraphs. The profundity of what we're reading only makes it through when it is encased in liberal white space structures.

I was reminded of this last night, driving into Roanoke, when I realized, again, how empty the city is. Driving down Williamson Road, one of the major thoroughfares here in town, I was surprised, again, at how much space there is between buildings, how many trees there are on the roadside, how much emptiness there is, offering respite for my eyes and faculties.

And again, this morning, when I woke up to the most complete silence I have experienced in months - no traffic cruising by, no helicopters whirring up ahead, no roommates getting ready for class, no shifting of furniture or yapping of dogs from an upstairs apartment. Just silence. Not even white noise - just white space.

Today, even, a day of nothingness. I took a nap, listened to my mom tell me news of all the people here, worked for an hour on a crossword puzzle, sat idly in a coffee shop. I read Kierkegaard FOR THE SHEER JOY OF IT. It has been a day devoid of responsbilities, classes and studying, a completely implicationless day.

Except in the very implicationlessness, in the very idleness and stillness, I have been renewed. I feel refreshed and revived. I feel, for the first time in a while, unstressed, unhurried, uncrowded.

Now, snow is falling here, covering the Roanoke Valley in powdery flakes, turning this place that I insist on calling home into a holiday vision, an entirely white respite.

The white space, I've heard, is the most important part on the page.

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