In which, from the chair, nothing is visible, except sky and clouds…


There is a good nothing and a bad nothing.  The bad nothing is when everything is falling apart, and there’s nothing left holding it together.  Like a fence that breaks down and all the chickens run out, and no matter how wide you spread your arms, running after them, corralling them, you can’t get them back in the fence. They elude you like clouds passing across the sky.  And then you have to give up because you are exhausted and defeated.  And the chickens begin to seem malevolent and intentional, and even if you know that is irrational, you can’t help but think that they are doing it TO you.


Being familiar with the good nothing, a sitting in the same place every day, a willingness to be quiet, the silent chuckle feeling of welcome and familiarity, a clouds floating across the sky kind of nothing.  A nothing that takes practice, that is a secret of the best kind, the non- damaging kind, a private nothing that requires commitment and learning and has a big payoff in feelings of peace and accomplishment.


And what about when the bad nothing can meet the good nothing?  Like sitting in the quiet good nothing, peaceful-ish, never quite successfully clouds passing across the sky but close enough, getting better, then, this sentence goes through your mind: “The world is spinning into crisis…”  Just that, not a big sentence, not filled with clauses or complex structures, but a simple concrete statement of truth.  Sitting there, breathing in the truth of that statement, putting it up into the clouds passing across the sky, but knowing too, suspecting, that more thoughts are coming, even if you let that one go, let that statement be a cloud passing across the sky, holding on to the letting go like a kid holding onto a kite, no matter, the next thought comes… ”No nation or set of nations is in charge…”  But maybe that’s good, a positive response to the first thought, only, nah, it has a dark tinge, like the storm is coming, not right this minute but the clouds passing across the sky are signaling to those who know how to read them that a storm is coming.  A darkening.  Then the next thought, “…Ethnic, religious, and regional rivalries have been set free by the weakness of nation states, and, by the communicative power of the internet…” Clouds passing, clouds darkening and passing.  “…Old forms of world governance don’t work…”  Clouds darkening.  Good nothing meets bad nothing.  The chickens and everything are going to get wet.