Mason County News
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Around the Square
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 • Posted October 15, 2008

Tabula rasa.

Beginner’s mind.

Blank page.

Clean slate.

Ah, clarity.

Simplicity.

Emptiness.

The opposite of “horror vacui.”

Fear of empty space.

Aristotle thought it up.

Believing nature feared emptiness.

That empty spaces sucked in gases and liquids to avoid being empty.

Whoever heard of nature avoiding anything.

Later on Pascal and others proved him wrong.

Still, horror vacui remains.

Especially as applied to visual art.

Where every speck of canvas has an image crammed into it.

Closer to home, horror vacui brings to mind closets.

And cabinets.

Trunks and dressers.

And barns.

Even spare rooms.

I don’t know about you, but mine are crammed full.

No emptiness there.

When in doubt, toss it in the closet.

Stuff it in a drawer.

Shove it in the barn.

Store it in the garage.

(Show me a garage with room for a vehicle.)

I don’t think so.

On top of that, we go up in the attic.

Down in the cellar.

Out to the shed.

Out back.

Over yonder.

Ever spreading the stuff here, there, and yon.

And, like distant kin, we won’t see it again for years.

Why, we’ll even rent a storage unit when all else fails.

Hemphill Storage.

Lone Star Storage.

Triple AAA Storage.

To name a few.

Just to keep our cra…uh, better not say it.

You know…those prized possessions we can’t part with.

Coats, clothes, uniforms.

Toys, tools, tires.

Pots, pans, plastic tubs.

Furniture, wood, wire.

But don’t think about getting rid of stuff.

That’s a horror of horrors.

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate broker on the square.

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