Nothing is Everything

May 9, 2019

“I love talking about nothing.  It is the only thing I know anything about.”
~ Oscar Wilde

For the past month, I’ve been working steadily on an editing job for a friend.  The project is unique and inspirational, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the work, but it has kept me away from this blog for a bit.  We are now past the first week of May and, until today, I had posted nothing since the beginning of April.  Nothing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though.  In fact, the word may is not only the name of the current month, it is also a modal verb, indicating possibility or potential.  Nothing is something that is full of potential.

Several years ago, physicists and philosophers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate the concept of nothing.  They put forth various theories and opinions, which all seemed to demonstrate that what we think of as nothing is really something.  If I had been there, I would have argued that nothing is something that may contain everything.

To illustrate that nothing can contain everything, I’ll use the example of the number line in mathematics, a concept that illustrates real numbers, showing positive numbers at the right and negative numbers at the left, with zero in the center:



I have often imagined both sides of this line turning up vertically, with zero at the bottom, and each number facing its opposite.  Since +1 and -1 combine to make zero, as does every other pair of opposite numbers, this line would close into itself like a zipper, as each pair of opposites found each other and dissolved themselves together, back into zero.

Zero may seem like nothing, but the potential for everything lives within it.  In fact, between each of those whole numbers I just described lies the possibility of smaller and smaller slices of numbers: 1.1, 1.11, 1.111, and on and on, infinitely.

The possibilities within you for new ideas, new inspirations and new choices are also infinite, but sometimes creating new things requires a bit of space, a bit of nothing.

Ebb tide enables a clean space for castles to be built and messages to be written in the untouched sand.  Paintings are created on top of a clean canvas; ideas and plans are put forth on a white board or blank page and films are projected on an empty screen.  Organizational experts often recommend pulling everything out of drawers or closets in order to choose what to keep, what to let go of and what shape the newly-emptied space will take.

When you need a new idea, a fresh perspective or a bit of inspiration, or even in those times when you’re not sure what you want, it is important, often necessary, to make yourself some space.  If your mind, heart or calendar seems cluttered with an infinite succession of stuff, give yourself the gift of nothing.  Like tilling the soil in a garden or plowing a field in order to plant a new crop, clear away some downtime, some quiet time for yourself.  Set aside one day per month with nothing “to-do” on your calendar.  If you can’t find one day, make the space for at least an hour of alone time. Take a walk, soak in a tub or simply carve out 30 minutes each day when all devices are off.  Give yourself permission to not do, even if it’s just for a bit.

Imagine everything that may be waiting to be discovered within just a little bit of nothing.

Photo courtesy Beverlee Moreno Ring


Maple Chicken Brunch Sausages are a delicious treat for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any day.

Maple Chicken Brunch Sausages
Homemade sausages are a delicious treat and easier to make than you think.  By forming the mixture into patties, instead of filling a casing, you can cook and serve or freeze and heat at your convenience; no smoking or curing necessary. Use pastured, organic or free range chicken for a better flavor, more humane process and healthier product.


Ingredients for sausages:
1 lb ground chicken
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Olive oil for frying (a few tablespoons)


In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except the olive oil.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

To form the patties:
Rinse hands in cold water.  Divide mixture into ten portions and shape each into a 2 & 1/2-inch disk.

Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with olive oil and heat on high.  Fry the sausages on both sides until completely cooked through and golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.  Cooked sausage patties can also be fully cooled, wrapped and frozen for oven or microwave reheating.

Makes 10 sausage patties


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