tabula rasa


I am a completely blank slate this morning.

That’s never happened to me before.

Usually, if I drink some coffee after a moment of panic about what I was going to write about, an idea comes trickling in and I’ll fill up the morning with ramblings about the new snow or the Jeep breaking down, or something about family life, or beginning running, or growing older day by day, or trying to figure out how to stay younger day by day, or a trip I took…or want to take, or some remembrance of a loved one gone, or children’s toys or bad experiences at a fast food restaurant, or homesteading, or just about anything that brushes up against me while I wander through this world…still breathing.

But this morning, I’m a blank slate.

The only thing I can think of to write about is not knowing what to write about.

What a cop-out.

The trouble with arriving at that conclusion is that I know that there’s always something to write about.

If I’m breathing, there’s something to write about. Life goes on whether I’m paying close attention or not.

The “car” is always in gear…going forward even when I don’t press on the accelerator…going forward even when I do press on the brake.

Life progresses at its own pace.

Of course there’s always something to write about.

I know that.

There is always life swirling around me when I’m awake enough to pay attention.

And I flatter myself thinking that it’s a “tabula rasa” situation.

My head is full of too much extraneous information to even approach a blank slate option.

My slate is full…it’s just full of goofy stuff that crowds out the useful stuff.

So “beginner mind” is something that eludes me.

So….what to write about?

I’ve had my coffee, the house is still quiet….what to write about?

How about….dogs?

We need a dog.

That’s like needing a new car…or needing another pair of shoes…or a new watch because I’m tired of the old beat up watch I wear and look at everyday.

We don’t need a dog.

I want a dog, though.

Wants and needs? Maybe that’s something to write about? The difference between the two?

Maybe I could figure out something about that situation that I could write about?

Maybe I could write about how inspirational it is to see a video on YouTube of a young family travelling through Central America in a VW bus?

Maybe I could write about how depressing it is to see a young family travelling through Central America in a VW bus…when I can’t figure out how to make it back up to “somewhere interesting” with my own family.

Nah…that’s too pathetic…too whiny.

Maybe I could just run my fingernails across what I imagine to be the “tabula rasa” until someone begs me to stop making that horrible screeching sound?

“Blank slate” is a pipe dream.

The breeze blows across my cheek on a warmer Winter day, and my head is full of the promise to come.

There is always something to write about.

I just need to calm down a little and recognize that fact.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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