Nothing… And Everything – By Marc

I’ve got nothing. Literally.

I’ve been working on rewrites for my one-hour drama TV pilot (Sins Of The Father… for anyone who wants to help get us into Amazon and Netflix) and two blog pieces for work. And I am now sitting and staring at a blank screen, the modern day version of a blank page…

This photo reminds me of the famous Goldsmith family story behind this painting, or one similar. My mother and a very pretentious great aunt were at a museum in NYC… let’s say the Guggenheim. They were looking at an all white canvas, at which my mother exclaimed: “I could have done that.”

My aunt, in a deep, arrogant British royal accent that none of us knew where it came from, shot back:

“But you didn’t, Dah ling.”Nothing “Jewish” is popping into my head… and yet I AM JEWISH… so perhaps anything I write will have some connection to Judaism and lessons learned. I am trying not to force anything… trying to be quiet and let Hashem move through me… through my brain and hopefully spark something.

After all, that is what starts life and creativity… a spark. I stare out the window. I see branches and leaves swaying gently in the wind. All I can hear is the AC, which just turned on. But that is white noise, so really… it is quiet, not silent. I breathe…

And yet, in that nothing, is everything. I learned that a friend of mine passed away the other day, and while he was older and had ailments, I was not expecting it and did not get to visit him in rehab. I should have made more of an effort, and now, of course, the guilt is weighing heavily on me. I just wrote something up for him for the Big Ten Club newsletter, but it’s not enough. I feel I let him and myself down. Life is too short. I am wasting too much time. I am reminded of this daily, and yet I do not always live as if each day is my last. I need to. I do not want to go into the ground clinging to unfulfilled ideas and promises.

As I sit in silence and stillness, I realize quickly how much clutter is in my brain. The goal, as I have written about before, is to clear out that space, so there is room for a true connection with my soul and with Hashem. Ultimately, that is truly all I need. I am reminded of a conversation I had with Rabbi Shlomo Seidenfeld just last week. He taught a class about the ethics of business and law and how Judaism shapes this. I wanted the class to be more about personal relationships rather than business ones, as I was having an issue with a friend I have known for 35 years. He has said and done some horrible things, well, three in particular, and if I shared them here you would think I was crazy to still be in the friendship.

Part of it is my loyalty, which I take seriously. Part of it is that I know he is mostly a good person who does many good things… and part of it is that I need to make sure he is not alone. I feel responsible. But the aggravation and negativity he has caused me, and very recently an incident involving a pretty obvious lie has me questioning the connection. I also realized that in 35 years I do not think he has EVER apologized, at least never without me forcing it and demanding it… and I don’t think he has ever fully owned things he has done. It’s always a deflection and an exclamation “I did nothing wrong!”

So the question becomes, can I and do I walk away? Sometimes we need to get rid of the negativity and if someone or something is not adding positivity to our lives, we need to purge. This can happy, sadly, with family as well.

Most people appreciate the kindness I show in sticking it out. But most people also tell me to move on… Life is too short. I am reminded of that almost daily… I was reminded of that today and will be tomorrow at the funeral… and I am reminded of it by watching the news, going online or reading the paper… Life… is too… short.

So when is taking care of ourselves the most important thing? A healthy mind and body and spirit means we are able to be more connected to G-d. This is why the vessel of the soul is so highly regarded and we are commanded, I believe, to take care of our bodies.And to bring a secular analogy into the mix… we MUST put our own oxygen masks on first, before we can help anyone else. If we are not healthy or breathing or alive, we are useless. Obviously.

Selfish is just as bad as selfLESS. So we must, first and foremost, take care of ourselves. We do this through a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy connection to G-d. And so as I sit in silence, with seemingly nothing to say… I am reminded, as I am almost daily, or at least I should be… that Hashem is everywhere and everything.

So go out and take care of yourselves, my friends. Remove the clutter and negativity. Fill your souls and lives with light, and positivity and Hashem. For Hashem is nothing… Hashem is ALL… Hashem is everything…

Nothing… and EVERYTHING!


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