Tabula Rasa 

The word document pops up on the screen, the modern laptop so much faster these days in response to key taps.  Sometimes the white “sheet” intimidates, fear’s wily tentacles denying my mind-attach to the muse.  Ideas pop up on mind-screen in the eventide, nearly asleep flashes and write becomes a right or the moment disappears.  Last night’s doodle drops wandered to two years of college essentially wasted in play and use the system to get by.  What did I miss in the classes missed?  Or the profs not teach in the teach time taken off?  The final two years offered much, including introduction to a few staff that greatly encouraged moving my pen on the yellow legal pad of inspiration.  A choice for poetry led to a Master’s Degree and beyond and a connection with education beyond a text and a classroom.  Experience failure and conquer the fear.  Live with the “bad ones” and improve with the “next one.”

The blank tablet explanation of the title proposes that, per ancient philosophers such as Aristotle, the brain at birth is an empty page.  It will be filled with experience, education, communication, and much more – but the onset lies empty.  Like this page on boot-up if comparing that to a child’s birth.  Several of my education prep professors adhered to this concept – giving grand significance to the teaching profession.  And it holds great importance, very great importance in a lifetime.  But blank at birth?

I believe life begins at conception.  Period.  Won’t argue or pontificate.  That just “is” for me.  Further, I believe God gives life to far more than a blank mind.  The umbilical connection to all occurring with mom offers a tremendous verbiage from moment one forward.  A mother’s food, emotions, stimuli – everything goes through this tiny miracle.  First and foremost comes something called ‘the soul’.  That inner part of us, that spirit in us, defies explanation, much like the concept of triune God.  Three in one.  I think about the soul, what it thinks of the physical me like it’s a separate entity lingering apart from my earthly world. Thinks realize it is not separate.  God’s spirit in me, Jesus’ life a part of me, the Holy Spirit talking to me – Up-Down, Inside-Out.  From conception, the Trinity part of me wherever I walk, wherever and whatever my journey brings.

My daughter Rosie, in young years, spoke of her brother and how she missed him.  I finally asked why because Andrew certainly was present in her life from home birth onward.  She said not Andrew, the other one.  The brother that was with her every day and then was just gone.  “You know, my brother whose name started with an R.”  Confused, Erin and I did some exploring.  For quite a long while actually.  If we birthed a boy, his name was to be Rhett.  R.  At roughly month 7 of the pregnancy, Erin had a black ice, multiple roll-over accident.  Traumatic, a fractured vertebra in the neck, other injuries, but the baby ultra-sound fine.  What we didn’t know and what the midwife revealed much later, Rosie’s twin was lost.  A second afterbirth not revealed until we questioned while searching for the mysterious brother.  In the womb, Rosie knew love, companionship, and eventual loneliness.  She knew silent communication.  She experienced.  And I amazed at what God can do.

We have a great connection to our Lord through Jesus and the Spirit.  I just cannot allow that to begin with a blank page, with a tabula rasa thinking that allows sin to do too much writing.

submitted by Dave Smith