This Page Is Intentionally Left Blank

This is a page of directions of a pattern to make a shirt bought from Joann Fabrics. The intention was to learn how a shirt can be made, as well as discover all the wildly complicated things about garment making. First I look at the directions. A gentle chaos of black and white instructions that are both communicating to someone who has sewn quilts for a dozen years, as well as a 2 year old who would like to make shirts. Already overwhelmed by the larger adventure at hand, I look through the pages much like I would a newspaper knowing that I am not reading, but looking at words I recognize which is in fact much like a 2 year old would read. Then I came across the back of one sheet and it said "THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK."

I immediately took a picture of this to get it out of the way, as not to take away from the coming rush of profound analysis. The complicated layers of this gave me so much joy. 

The most glaring piece is why? The other 3 sheets, which meant 6 sides/pages, were full almost crammed with information, then this 4th sheet of paper only needed one side, leaving the other to be "blank." I can't imagine it that they didn't plan ahead, and in a careless effort they did this. But that would not be intentional. Which means they wanted me to have this "blank" page. For What? I didn't buy a yearly planner with extra blank pages (because thats where I write my ideas, not) I bought a shirt pattern. But before getting too cynical, if this was the plan I am grateful for the gift. But I realized that this installation is far more progressive then its intention. 

My absolute favorite part is the beautiful irony. True organic irony is often difficult to find, but this is a heard of space crystal flowers. That by writing this, the page is no longer blank. If in fact they wanted to gift me a blank page, it is now no better then the other side. Which mind you is a fine page. But when looking for a good page, you either want impeccable instructions, or a crisp white the un-driven snow space ready to catch your next idea. Now that is a good page.

The word "Intentionally" is a comforting redundancy that whispers "everything is going to be ok." Writing nothing could be debated as intentional or not, a great mystery. But what seems to be a stamp, means at the factory the fate of this page was decided when it was still in tree form. Although the 2 year old appreciates the reminder that their is/isn't not blank page was directed as a non was blank before to begin with page was a gift... I also would have liked some empty space to rest my weary head. 

"Is" means that everyday it chooses to be not blank blank again, and "left" blank implies that they had more information that needed a page partnership, and such a page cannot be bothered with the weight of ink and the stress of a production line. 

Starting Dinosaur Hampton means everyday there is too much to do, but I chose to do it. Why any of this? Work I know nothing about, the money, the time, the building. It seems even ill-advised to start something sometimes. So I look to this profound page to remember that we can choose to make any space blank, and even our best work, can still leave a page intentionally left not blank. 

-Benjamin Kelly

Benjamin KellyComment