Nuthin’ and Everything

Poor William Billy Howell in the field and at the lake - by Delta Bohemian

Poor William Billy Howell in the field and at the lake – by Delta Bohemian

By Poor William
(Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Nuthin’ can be something, and nuthin’ can be everything, if one’s everything is nuthin’!

Nuthin’ and Everything. Two words appearing to be diametrically opposed—nothing and everything—are not as mutually exclusive as they appear. Seeming to be polar opposites, they actually are quite kin.

It’s all based on expectations, how life is viewed, and what is deemed important. Is the proverbial glass observed as half-full or half-empty? Hell, most of the time I just want to have a little moisture in my cup; too often I see nothing but a dry bed in the bottom of my container. Sad but true! Not very thankful, huh?

Man, I can flat out piss and moan about nuthins and everythings, but all it does is sap my energy, my joy, and my ability to focus on what matters—others! When my focus is outward not inward, ironically, I am the most joyful and at peace. Sadly, I concentrate mostly on how things make me feel, which makes me feel worse. Hmmm, maybe I am detecting a pattern of habitual horror here?

I am miserable when I am unthankful, ingratitude being evidence of self-focus. It might be frustrating when I or others tell someone who is so low there ain’ no sight of up, something akin to the following: “Hey man, you just gotta realize how good you got it, there are folks all over the world who have nothing to eat, their children are starving and hurting, and/or are in harm’s way daily due to wars, rumors of war, or vicious internecine savagery and fighting, so you need to quit your whining and be thankful!”

Rarely does anybody want to hear something similar to the above statement, but it’s the damn truth! There is always somebody who has less than we do, who is hurting more than we are, and who is hanging on literally by his or her last breath. It should not make us feel better by recognizing others feel worse, but it should make us thankful and mindful of the needs of others, which is a distinctly human imperative.

So, how can nuthin’ be everything? Well, sometimes nuthin’ allows us to pontificate on what matters, which gets us to understanding what matters, which is really everything, everything that is important. Capisce?

Paul, in his second epistle to the Corinthian church said, “…having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” How can that be, to have nothing and yet possess everything?

Often, possessions, the very things used as measuring sticks for success and happiness, are the very things that keep us from being joyful. Once we gots ‘em, we gots to care for ‘em, and we should, but sometimes too many somethings can ‘cause everything to seem hollow.

I am happiest when I am in a cotton field or standing in chest-high water in the middle of Moon Lake, watching the sun go down, thinking about nuthin’ and everything. Sometimes with others and often solo, the only cat out there. No distractions, unless I let my mind focus on things I can do nuthin’ about, and a grand opportunity to talk to God, self, and a chance to recognize Creation in it’s grand, cyclical rotation, which keeps my smallness in perspective and helps me to look outward instead of just inward.

Sometimes you have to appreciate nuthin’ before you can appreciate everything! pw


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