ZOOMERS: Much ado about nothingness

Filling a 650-word column proves to be a difficult task

By now you are probably overloaded with talk of politics and elections and politicians in general.

In fact, you are likely so sick of the topic, I have decided not to write about it.

Something a little lighter, I am thinking.

Perhaps you would like to hear my thoughts about the Jian Ghomeshi fiasco and the allegations of his sexual impropriety?

But I am thinking you are probably up to your eyeballs on that subject as well.

I could talk about the weather, but that is a little depressing what with the recent November chills.

So I have decided to write about my inability to open wine bottles and jars and packages.

No, I don’t suffer from arthritis but I struggle every time I attempt to open or unravel something.

And let’s not mention all the cuts on my fingers from that nasty foil on the wine bottle corks. And don’t get me started on those “childproof” caps!

Not much more to say on this subject, I am afraid.

Oh dear, how am I going to fill a column of roughly 600 words?

I could bore you with my struggles on dressing and undressing myself. Why can’t I have a personal lady’s maid as they have in TV’s Downton Abbey? Then I wouldn’t have to wrestle with unreachable zippers or sweaters turned inside out or squeezing into my Spanx.

But surely, that wouldn’t fill a column either.

Not one to be at a loss for words, I have decided to write about nothing.

But then I wonder, what is nothing?

Why, Seinfeld’s creators wrote a whole show on nothing in particular.

Nothing has great substance when you really think about it. It takes a lot of creative energy to fill your days with doing nothing in particular, as the TV show’s characters appear to do.

In fact, man has been writing about nothing for centuries.

Plato, the classical Greek philospher in The Republic, pens, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

In Leo Tolstoy’s Russian tome, War and Peace, he writes, “We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” And the flamboyant writer Oscar Wilde muses, “I love to talk about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.”

I think I am onto something…

To continue, what would have happened if George Harrison had composed his hit song Something and named it Nothing instead.

John Lennon penned “Strawberry Fields… nothing is real.” Worked for him.

Billy Preston sang, “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing” – the mantra of an entire generation.

How could we answer all those important questions such as “Whatchya doin? Nothin’. “What’s wrong? Nothin.”

In philosophical terms, nihilism means that nothing has real meaning. The German philosopher Nietzche wrote about it anyway.

But then, who really cares as worrying about it is much ado about nothing!

Politics, the CBC, stormy weather and my ineptitude notwithstanding, I think the eccentric writer Charles Bukowski sums it up beautifully:

“The best thing about the bedroom was the bed. I liked to stay in bed for hours, even during the day with covers pulled up to my chin. It was good in there, nothing ever occurred in there, no people, nothing.”

And on that note, I have nothing more to say.

April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP, a national group committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada.’ She writes monthly.


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