Tabula Rasa

One too many sea gulls

I'm first to admit that John Locke isn't high up there on my reading list.  He passed through in a few graduate courses; some of him stuck while most of him.....ohmy.

I was thinking about his blank slate this morning.  You know, a life of do'overs, wipe the slate clean and start again type of thing. That drew me to the origins of "tabula" - a wax tablet that could be warmed and smoothed out - an etcho-sketch for the ages.

An artist photographer I know and admire composes her pictures.  She can't white-out everything and just add the snippets she imagines (although her Forrest Gump poster with Hanks sitting in profile on a bench on a white "canvas" is a famous exceptions), but she does take the time to make her work orderly and with just enough but not too much.  Painters say that to some extent: knowing when to quit and not adding just that one more thing that effectively ruins everything.

Locke is like that in my mind's eye. My little tablet fills up and I don't know when to say "that's it - no more".  I then blur the line and you can't tell what I'm about.  The picture above is an example.  My photographer friend would call it a snapshot and not "composed".  My painter friends would call it a nice enough 18th century seascape with a seagull that seems to be that one element too much.

I don't have too much time to redraw my tablet; to fill it with things learned and seen.  I need to get at it otherwise, Locke will lose and what is pre-ordained will fill it up with stuff I don't want.