Back From Oz and Facing the Blank Page

Studio photo: JParadisi


   But eventually, you have to sit down like every other writer and face the blank page.      

Anne Lamott      

     Any minute now I expect the 10,000th visitor to JParadisi RN’s Blog.      

     Meanwhile, I try to conjure a new post. Without an interesting anecdote of my own, I troll the internet hoping to conceive an idea, but my heart’s not into it. This is my one day off after working three busy, consecutive shifts before returning for three more over the holiday weekend.     

     As if traveling to and from a parallel universe, I sometimes experience the transition between my roles of nurse and artist as disorientation. In psychology, “the process of coordinating separate personality elements into a balanced whole or producing behavior compatible with somebody’s environment” defines integration (Encarta Dictionary).  

     The week passed by like this:     

  • My submission was accepted for publication. Then I went to my nursing job where:
  • My favorite coworker left. Like an out of context Dorothy, I tearfully said good-bye to the Scarecrow. “I love you best…” but I had to hide the tears because:
  • I don’t want to hurt the feelings of the Lion and the Tin Man. Then I went home and:
  • I sold a piece of art. I was happy. I went back to work the next day where:
  • A patient who usually brings chocolates to us at her appointments was too ill this time, and she apologized to us, her nurses, because she didn’t have any. It was a poignant moment. I went home again and found:
  • Change of Shift included one of my blog posts. I was happy. Then I went to work again the next day and:
  • My chemo patient was afraid. I forgot about blogging while listening to her fears and:
  • Another patient told me I am her favorite (“Don’t tell the Lion and the Tin Man.”). I was deeply touched. Going home again:
  • I tried to find words to explain my feelings and write them in a blog post.


  1. Sometimes the creative juices are deep down inside, and difficult to divine.

    But other times, the keyboard sings, with thoughts arriving faster than fingers can fly.

    We live for those days.

    And having a patient or co-worker say you are the greatest, ain’t so bad either….


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