As Alice said to the White King In the Looking Glass, I saw Nobody.to which he replied, I only wish I had such eyes to be able to see Nobody. Nobody is like Nothing…… And Nothing’s plenty for me.
What’s up? Nothing much. And therein lies the tale.
Shakespeare, that rascal, wrote Much Ado About Nothing but his nothing was a pun for No Thing, thing being the term for phallus at the time. Nothing has quite a history.
Poetry changes nothing said W.C. Auden………but people die everyday for lack of it wrote William Carlos Williams. Maybe that nothing which poetry changes is worth looking into.
There is a vast something in Nothing. It’s the absence better left unsaid or unsayable. Look for the meaning of a poem in among the words. The intervals make the music. The pause is pregnant.
When a friend needs our ear we are best advised to be quiet and reflecting. Just being present and silent allows the flow. All is nothing at all.
One of the problems with this world is our hunting and gathering of too many things. As the comedian says, I don’t want everything. Where would I put it? With our consumer brains we want, we grab, we accumulate heedless of consequence. The earth is scarred. The air is toxic. Our souls are not fed.
On that Streetcar Named Desire we lose touch with a healthy simplicity. Maybe that new car, shirt, shoes, I-phone was merely a distraction. Much can be said for nothingness.
At this age our time is now to liquidate. No attachments, the Buddha said. Disowning isn’t all that easy. That Kwakiutil mask is still blessing the Hopi pots. I’d like to think those books on one shelf are in conversation with those on the other. Wittgenstein is in dialog with Foucault and Samuel Clemens with Dorothy Parker. Reluctantly we'll let them all go. I’ll invite them to our fantasy Thanksgiving table.
In the end we have the Nothing which is Everything. It has all been interjected one way or another. The album is in my inner vault, that inviolable place which takes up no space, gathers no dust and is impervious to the next quake.
As Janis Joplin screamed about freedom…. It’s just another word for nothing left to lose.