Monday, April 26, 2010

Songs about Nothing

You must do nothing before you can do something. Silence surrounds and intersects sound. Darkness defines light.

Such is the power of nothing.

Joan Konner has compiled an anthology of quotations celebrating nothing. “You Don’t Have to be a Buddhist to Know Nothing” has a busy title, but the book is packed with trenchant notions about nothing.

Dip into it anywhere and discover the power of nothing.


“Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely to nowhere.” Frank Herbert

“Nothingness lies coiled in the heart of being — like a worm.” Jean-Paul Sartre.

“The deepest you is the nothing side, is the side which you don’t know.” Alan Watts.

“With chess, as in literature, you can’t fill all the spaces because there would then be no game to play, no story to tell.” Timothy Walsh

The book often presents familiar words about nothing that you are forced to understand in a radically different way.

Some of the most familiar are lyrics.

“Nothing from nothing is nothing.” Billy Preston

“Nothing’s going to change my world.” Lennon-McCartney

“I’ve got plenty of nothing and nothing’s got plenty for me.” George Gershwin

“He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody.” Lennon-McCartney

“And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.” Paul Simon

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