The page is blank. My mind is blank. I am drawing a blank. “Unused, clear, free, bare, clean…”
Perhaps blank can be a positive thing, as well as an emptiness. I am inclined toward filling, which I believe we may all be inclined to do simply because we are human. So ‘blank’ has the underlying meaning of ‘something is missing!’ At least for me it does; especially when I come to the computer to post and the page is blank. My mind is blank. I am drawing a blank. If I can turn my habitual response to ‘blank’ on its head, it could mean space, openness, possibility, opportunity.
Blank has meaning as an adjective – blank page; a noun – empty space or period of time; and a transitive or intransitive verb – to cover up or to become empty. That’s a lot for one word to do. The phrase ‘draw a blank’ can mean ‘to fail’. Ah, we’ve looped back to the fearful, panicky place where I began. Day seven of NaBloPoMo and I am drawing a blank. Cue the buzzing failure sound.
As a matter of fact I started writing a post this morning about the game of solitaire, as played on electronic devices, which is something that I like to do. Then I drifted into blather about all the hyper-stimulating graphics on most electronic games. And from there I started ranting about reports that Millenials are developing ‘dowager’s hump’ from curling over their cell phones while texting or checking Instagram all day. I became bored with my own voice, so I walked away.
Since this is already a fairly nonsensical post, I will tell you why I like playing solitaire on the computer. First of all it reminds me of my mother. She was the first person I ever saw playing solitaire on a computer. Although she did not live long enough to really get comfortable with the Internet, at some point toward the end of her life, she found Spider solitaire there. It became her evening ritual; when my father had gone to bed, she would sit for a while and play. I tried and I was hooked.
Solitaire is soothing. You have to concentrate and it requires a certain amount of focus, but it’s about numbers (like Sudoku), which is mindless in a way that reading is not. Reading of any kind stimulates me to think or feel and solitaire does not cause those reactions. I can feel frustrated or satisfied depending on my success with a particular hand of cards, but I can always deal another hand if I don’t ‘win’. And to be honest with you, I love the way the cards whisk themselves around on the screen. I never have the sound on – too stimulating, and I always blank out the little victory celebrations – dancing cards or fireworks. What I like is the simple background and the lack of bling.
So there you have it. Aren’t you glad you asked?