fillin' the blanks
(M.Proust's delirium of ecriture)
What is the nature of the empty pages of a diary, that may appear sporadically, few blank spaces per month, or- to the contrary- making the gross part of the notebook, creating islands of script in a sea of emptiness? This puzzlement comes up whenever I feel courageous enough to touch old diaries of mine or to go through the published diaries of people I value as my inner constant instructors (Seferis, for example, or the unbelievable traveller's diaries of Cavafy- full of boredom and inertia). And the same also applies to this new form of raving in writing: the genre of blogs. What is the nature of the days that they are not recorded in the daily account of our favorite bloggers? Many blogs are not of a very personal nature, they are not proper diaries (in the voyeuristic way we expect diaries to sound like) but still, even if they are frigid/ clever/ reserved/ objective/ impersonal commentaries, they give a tone for the day: what he/she picked up from the dust of the events, where the lens of the day set its focal point... Through the written part we receive signs concerning the mood, the general sentiment which surround the choice, the flags of the realm of unspoken. But silence? Blankness? What is their nature in diaries? Always, when we postpone to fix our notes, for another day, that circumstances will be more convenient and words more precise and appropriate, we simply trick ourselves, because the other day appears with a new range of remarks or events, and what was postponed, in reality it was shipped to the land of forgetfulness. I treasure the empty pages in something written, of something that has a backbone of narratives, because they draw the map for the land of assumptions. Was it an uneventful day? Was it, to the opposite, a brilliant nest for various events that did not leave a single minute for the archivist to play with the filing drawers? It happened to me more than once to get a misprint: a book with few blank pages, in critical instances of the plot or the argumentation. Knowing what preceded and what follows, I dare to suggest what is missing, or perhaps I suggest the possibility of a sudden new turn in the case, which could not survive and was silenced through empty spaces. Like the dots that mark omission [...] Perhaps it is there in the three dots path that the change occurs. That somebody grows different, older, rejuvenated, disillusioned or passionate. So watch the blanks, make hypotheses, listen to the voice from the giant loudspeakers that accompany the World Cup matches, or watch the crowd at the ice-cream shop, or the unfrequented Gardens Street of the late night hours. See the passing shadow of the diary-keeper, but do not try to fix him/her in certainties. Allow some space for magic, for surprise.