A blank space – indeed how does one begin to describe a blank space? On the very face of it, the phrase appears to be a tautology, with ‘space’ itself meaning ‘a vast, unoccupied area’. As darkness is defined by the absence of light, the blank space can be defined by the absence of substance. But, on a second thought, one sees that a blank space holds innumerable possibilities for interpretation.
To a painter, it is an empty canvas, pregnant with myriad possible paintings to be made. To a teacher it is an innocent child’s mind, ready to be taught and eager to learn. A sculptor would see it as a beautiful piece of stone, waiting to be carved into his next masterpiece. It would remind the farmer of a land to be cultivated; and the builder, of a land that can be developed into a luxurious and profitable layout. A dancer would liken it to an open stage and a writer, to an unwritten page. The lover would see in it, a place where beautiful day dreams can be woven.
To the thinker, it is the absence of cluttering. The yogi says it is the beautiful calmness and peace of mind; while to the spiritual, it is Nothingness, the point at which one sublimes and merges with the Supreme.
A nature activist sees a blank space as a place of extensive deforestation. To the depressed it brings pictures of bleakness, while the psychiatrist would call it a representation of Alzheimer’s disease. To the destitute, it is home.
The beauty of the blank space lies in the eyes of the beholder – unadulterated and pure, or, barren and devoid of life. A pristine landscape waiting to be explored or a frightening ruin that drives away even the whiff of joy. A blank space is, thus, an externalization of our own mind. Our thoughts are what we see in it. When we calm our mind and drive out disturbing thoughts, it becomes the blank space that can be moulded into countless possibilities.