Something From Nothing

I’ve featured several of Bud Hearn’s “Weakly Posts” here, but I think this one is my favorite thus far.  Bud has such a way with words, but I think this post, in particular, gives us a glimpse of the man himself and how deeply he thinks and feels about writing and about life.  I think you’ll enjoy reading “Something From Nothing”!  I know it spoke to me and I will treasure it for years to come!

Something from Nothing

“….the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

Genesis 1:2

Some days are like being inside a cloud of thick fog—all white nothingness. Attempts to mentally find anything of substance are impossible.

It must have been on one of those days the poet wrote, “(V)ague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not its end.” Or something similar.  Poets play with vague concepts. Yet, in that white chaos, it’s helpful to realize that haze is full of promise, just waiting to be discovered.

Deadlines for writers hover like death. They sit looking at an empty computer screen or a blank sheet of paper, searching for something to write. In those days ideas are harder to find than hen’s teeth.

For about nine years my Thursdays have begun by staring at an empty sheet of paper, or a set of white computer pixels that make the screen appear blank. This is the genesis of this Absurdity.

Empty is always the beginning. There’s just something about a blank slate that craves input. It calls, “Put something on me ~ words, numbers, drawings ~ or fold me into the shape of an airplane and sail me. Do something with me, now!”

Imagine being a blank sheet of paper. How would it feel if your life went unused, just wadded up and pitched at trash cans? Or run through a shredder to make parade confetti or other such ephemera posing as momentous events. Please! A blank sheet has infinite possibilities.

Everything starts out blank. We did, too ~ some may still be! So did this planet. Think of the untold number of possibilities that existed at the Big Bang of Creation. Imagine what could come from a totally blank universe page. Now look at it. Think of each person’s beginning as a blank sheet of paper. Impossible to comprehend with a finite mind.

All pages begin equal, but some more equal than others. Some become important, like The Bible, The Constitution, or The Gettysburg Address. Some amount to absolutely nothing. Some would be downright frightening ~ like fodder crammed into The New York Times.

I prefer blank computer screens. It eliminates the eraser and wipes the slate clean with no consequence. And ink on paper is better than pencil lead. Imagine a fancy invitation scribbled in pencil. Pencils, like flip phones, are relics of another era. Its devolution is rendered thusly: “Let’s pencil in the appointment instead of ‘ink it in.’”

Blank pages have other possibilities. Suppose someone has trashed you with some malicious gossip ~ why, you can write you several scathing replies, take out your anger and frustrations on paper and then trash them in the nearest shredder. There, don’t you feel better?

Blank bank deposit tickets provide wonderful possibilities. Sometimes when I’m bored I take a blank one and write insanely huge amounts on it. Pretending to be wealthy is better than caffeine. I envision myself presenting it to a bank teller, especially one showing a deposit of $10 billion dollars to my account. Imagine their shock. Sadly, this dream has yet to materialize.

That brings up another subject. Bank accounts. They can begin small with very little written on the deposit ticket, like $10.00.  Yet, a bank account has the capacity to enlarge itself to infinity. It can’t be filled to capacity.

All of which may lead one to the ultimate use of paper ~ to print cash currency. This paper is highly decorative and has the effect of creating more emotional fervor than all the paper in the world. Yet, the irony is that while it starts out as a blank page, its value is based on nothing but a fiat faith ~ a huge blank page.

Many of us may be writing more checks than deposit tickets these days. But may I suggest a superior endeavor? Grab your blank page of faith and write something on it. Perhaps it is nothing more than a short note to a friend, a card to a child or a check to a charity. Your words will make your paper very happy, as well as the recipient.

A blank sheet of paper is a terrible thing to waste.

Bud Hearn

June 12, 2015


One Response

  1. Harold Michael Harvey Says:

    I agree, Bob has a wonderful way with words. Thanks for selecting this piece.

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