Let’s Talk About Nothing

Photo: Contributed.

The worst nightmare for a columnist is to have ‘nothing’ to write about.

It’s like staring at a blank canvas with nothing to fill it with. This week, I came up with ‘nothing’. I even asked the editors to suggest something, and they too came back empty-handed.

So, guess what I’m writing about this week? You guessed it, ‘nothing’.

Hold on, don’t click away yet! Clicking away already requires you to move muscles, and that is ‘something’.

Remember that the theme for this week is ‘nothing’. Nothingness, in its wonderful emptiness, is a goldmine of unimagined potential. It’s the ultimate blank canvas you would keep away from the artist Hage Mukwendje’s brush strokes for fear that he would just spill paint on it.

Think about it: Don’t we all spend a good chunk of time thinking about nothing?

Especially right before that early morning first cup of java? I am talking about that moment when you stare into the kitchen cupboard waiting for the kettle to boil.

It starts with the clicking sound as you switch it on, and it goes into that soft rumble as it heats up the water. You literally fall asleep again to that hypnotising noise until you hear another click as the kettle announces boiling point.

It’s that in-between space, that pre-caffeine limbo, where even the most outlandish ideas seem possible.

Like writing about the mating rituals of invisible warthogs, the economic policies of a one-donkey town populated by walking-talking watermelons, or the constant sorrow of a particularly bored corpse.

Sure, some may say writing about nothing is like trying to put cats into a box – mission impossible. But fear not, fearless reader! We, the fearless jokers, are here to do the Oshakati mamba dance on the edge of meaninglessness.

The musician Johny Clegg once wrote a song called ‘Are You Ready?’, and somewhere in the song he goes “Oshakati mamba”.

No idea how that could fit in there, but it’s his song and we must just dance to it. So, just read on!

This very act of reading about nothing is a rebellion against the tyranny of somethingness. We’re saying no to the constant pressure to be productive, informed and have an opinion on everything – such as the constant pressure to have an opinion on King Tee Dee’s recent, well, ‘nothingness’ (referring to the lack of driving privileges).

So, as you journey deeper into this article, remember: The lack of a point is the point. We’re on a quest to explore the comedic potential of Tate Booty’s song ‘Eke Walli Fkkl’.

Today is dedicated to ‘nothing’.

Now, before you get too comfy with this pleasant nothingness, let’s ponder the philosophical implications. After all, even the absence of something is a kind of something, right?

Is the silence between notes not part of the music? That nothingness is called rests or silence, and when done well, the result is what we call rhythm. Now, we can conclude that music consists of ‘nothing’ and some things.

Is the space between stars not part of the sky – space, or whatever you call it? You see, if the space between the stars was lit, you would possibly not be able to tell one star from the other. It’s the darkness that allows you to see the light.

Maybe ‘nothingness’ is just the other side of the ‘somethingness’ coin. It’s the head or tails of a coin toss which can decide your fate in a way you would have never imagined. Maybe it’s the silence that gives meaning to the sound.

Or as in a twisted analogy: Maybe it’s the emptiness of some heads that makes them joyful. LOL.

One thing’s for sure, though: It’s a strange feeling of freedom. That weird feeling of the freedom to laugh at ourselves, at the absurdity of existence, and at the very act of trying to find meaning where there may be none.

And now that we are at the end of this article, let me leave you with this thought: You just read an entire article about nothing. Nothing is impossible!

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