A Clean Sheet of Paper Please

Do you have a clean sheet of paper? I remember asking and even being asked the question in school. There were some kids who would come to school totally unprepared for the day.

Regardless of the assignment, the idea, the task, or the information needed to be recorded, without this clean sheet of paper, it would all be lost and forgotten. Long before the days of voice recorders, post-it’s, and laptops, there was the lone sheet of clean paper that we were in need of and in search of.

A mental picture needing to be brought into the world of reality is lost, instructions on how to complete a task never surface, a list of grocery items needed from the store fail to make the menu for the night, an innovative idea on how to cease world hunger and global warming are all lost because a clean sheet of white paper was not available.

What is a clean sheet of white notebook paper you ask? It’s a canvas to the painter, it’s a binding document to the lawyer, a script to the Doctor, a recipe to the cook, directions to the wandering traveler, a blueprint to the architect, an avenue to express the deep feelings of the person in love, a home to an algorithm, a long awaited finish to the chorus and second verse of a Grammy award winning song hummed in the head of a musician.

The potential of the clean sheet of white note book paper still goes unmatched today. Wonder why the world is in the shape it’s in today? No more clean sheets of paper available. Notice the request is still in the hearts and minds of creatives. Do you have a clean sheet of paper I can borrow? Maybe not requested any longer in that manner, but still a desire in the hearts of young and old poets, writers, designers, creators, and world changers. The paper is no longer around.

No Justice, no Peace? No Paper, No Peace!! No clean paper? No space travel!! No clean sheet of white paper? No Cure for Cancer!! No clean sheet of white paper for the three ring binder? No song writing, no Presidential speeches, no sermons, no magazine articles, no more Disney movies and cartoons.

I hope this doesn’t sound weird but have you held in your hands a brand new ream of white paper next to the copy machine? A brand new pack of notebook paper for the three ring school binder? Paper freak? No!! Clean sheet of paper fetish? No!! It’s the potential prior to pencil scribbles, pen stains, paint scuffs, Elite or Pica typewriter strokes or the savage copy machine impressions. It’s the pure, clean, innocent, unassuming Virgin presentation of a clean white sheet of paper that I am amazed by.

Here’s to you Clean sheet of paper!! Rather you become a paper plane, a love letter, a beautiful picture, a home for pencil shavings or a romantic novel, this world misses you!!

You don’t believe me? Just walk up and ask any random person, “. Excuse me, Can I borrow a clean sheet of white paper?” Watch what happens.

If we don’t get ourselves together, we will be left to exist in a world of people who write on the back of used, wrinkled sheets of paper, store receipts, on walls, and in the palm of our hands. A world where people reach into trash cans and attempt to unfurl wrinkled paper in hopes of finding a clean space to write. A world where clean sheets of paper is the new crack Baby!! (I have just made every OCD person and creative, myself included, nauseated by this thought.) Funny how you just envisioned homeless addicts reaching in garbage cans!!! You oughta see a Doctor about that before it gets worse.

Excuse me, Can I borrow a sheet of paper?

I still love you,



One Comment

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  1. I feel writing on paper helps process thoughts better, though we’re now used to typing on laptops. There’s nothing as satisfying as writing on a clean sheet of paper and reading a book in hard copy.


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