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Blank Page

When I started writing this note yesterday, I was planning to talk about the endless possibility of the blank page. The proprietors of a favorite shop of mine – Phidon Pens in Cambridge, Ontario – are currently in New York City at the National Stationery Show. I’d just seen a Facebook post of Mano standing in front of a Palomino display; Phidon already tempts me with at least one new journal, notebook, pen or pencil whenever I visit, and I was wondering what they’d be bringing back to tempt me with next.

But then the news about the Oklahoma tornado started to roll in, pictures of devastation that should only exist in Hollywood productions dominating the news stations as death toll and injury numbers continued to rise.

Parents desperately searching for their sons and daughters. Emergency workers pulling children from the wreckage that was once a school. Parking lots transformed to wrecking yards. Teachers, blood pouring down their faces, carrying children to safety. Neighborhoods turned into splinters. A woman standing on the rubble that was once her home. A man climbing over debris, searching for something or someone.

It is all but impossible to conceive that the lives of the people affected by this devastation most likely started in the most normal of fashions Monday morning. And now normal has been violently ripped from their lives, brutally and suddenly.

I’ll get back to Phidon and the endless possibility of the blank page in a future note. Right now I am reminded that sometimes a page needs to stay blank, at least for a little while. I am reminded that sometimes words will fail even those of us who spend our days and nights working with them.

Today, what words we have are in thoughts and prayers, for the people of Oklahoma.