I was a big Seinfeld fan back in the day. The show about nothing seemed a perfect idea, because after all, it wasn’t really about nothing was it.
It was about nothing significant. Nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary.
It was just ordinary life with its twists and foibles and injustices and humour…always humour. In that sense it was about everything. Every life.
This post is about nothing.
It’s about nothing special, show-stopping or incredible.
It’s about the everyday.
I haven’t blogged for a while. Actually, I have blogged but it’s been in my mind as I drove around Auckland, or diced onions or watched TV on a lazy Sunday night. I just haven’t committed this ‘nothing’ to my keyboard.
Sure, I’ve had challenges. My laptop blew up. Poof! Our house in the UK took forever to settle (bloody lawyers!) and the stress was overwhelming. After three weeks of phone calls to England in the wee hours of the morning we were walking dead. Then when it did settle, the lawyers held onto our sale proceeds for seven days! What did Shakespeare say ‘first kill all the lawyers…’
The dog’s greyer around the muzzle, the kids have exams, my Englishman has been better, then worse, then better – recovery isn’t a straight line – and we all seem to go up and down with him. I guess it’s company. After all, who better to offer empathy than someone who also suffers from visits from the black dog from time to time?
We visited the local Buddhist temple – Fo Guang Shan – to steal some quiet and admire the spring flowers.
I took time to grab the stunning sunsets from our spot on the hill.
And to pick the Spring flowers from our rambling au naturel (messy) cottage garden.
But I’m not using any of these as excuses. I haven’t blogged for a while because I didn’t want to be visible. I just wanted to get on with my ‘nothing’. I didn’t want empathy, or advice or help or even attention. I just wanted to get on with it. After all whilst it’s nothing to you, it’s been my sharp sharded reality for a few months now.
We’ve had visitors staying – a nice local family with a dying dog. We had a rental inspection, and I almost internally combusted trying to clean the carpet on my hands and knees. It’s Spring, so weatherwise (as with all things it seems) it’s two steps forward one step back.
There’s been dinners with friends and early morning writing sessions on ‘From Pavlova to Pork Pie’ which is coming along, albeit slowly.
Last week, school finished early for a teacher’s meeting and as Miss Fliss made her way home a school-mate was killed on the Pakuranga Highway.
It struck me that his day started ordinarily, probably with cereal – six Weetbix and half a bottle of milk, if he’s anything like my teens – then a ride on his new motorbike to school.
And then it ended.
It all ended.
Although we didn’t know him, my mother-heart sobbed.
I grabbed my kids and ‘checked in with them’ – probably too casually. I sent prayers and thoughts and strength to his grieving family and all the while I wondered about this mystery.
How all our lives are nothing, and yet simultaneously, something.
Something incredibly precious.
Tell your people you love them. Grab this nothing-day and make it matter. Suck the marrow out of life and chew on its bones. All that ‘nothing’ is worth so much. It’s so fragile and beautiful and fleeting and yet so deeply etched with meaning.
Today, I’m going to live as I’ve written. Today, I’m going to live my nothing, as if it’s the most special gift I’ve ever been given.