The local newspaper, “The News Journal,” informs readers of the number of days left in the year and quotes a notable person on a daily basis. I usually start my day reviewing these tidbits of information. Somehow, the number of days to the year’s end surprises me. Although I should know without checking, since I always look the day before. The quotes vary from familiar and meaningful to humorous and ridiculous.
On a recent Wednesday, when there were 247 days left in the year, the quote was by Edward Dahlberg. Initially I was amused and thought he made sense, then I was perplexed but eventually annoyed.
Since I am not getting any younger and easily confused, I gave it more thought and made a list of the possibilities.
“It takes a long time to understand nothing.”
By Edward Dahlberg
• You forgot what you thought you knew, and now understood nothing
• You never knew enough to understand nothing
• You are now old enough to understand nothing
Who was this man giving me a headache? I went online feeling stupid, and searched for an explanation. There was none, but learned Dahlberg, who is frequently quoted, was an accomplished author during the early nineteen hundreds. His words were too obscure to others.
Getting no satisfaction I turned to the dictionary for a tangible meaning of nothing. Evidently nothing can be a noun, something that is nonexistent or a verb, as in a trivial action. Perhaps I needed more time to think about nothing and went back to doing the laundry.
I went to sleep that night ruminating about understanding the absence of meaning in everything.
On the “246 day left in the year” I awoke smitten with myself, and feeling smarter than Mr. Dahlberg. However, because I was still not getting younger, made a list of other interpretations of the quote, “It takes a long time to understand nothing.”
• Understanding nothing is pointless
• There is nothing to understand
• Move on quickly once you understand nothing
. . . . just saying
PS: Another Dahlberg quote: “Every decision you make is a mistake”