Vivi Frances
Writer, ASL interpreter and just for fun singer

I got nothing

I got nothing…

to say


Doesn’t matter…. I’ll write anyway.

After keeping my promise to myself to post a weekly story and stumbling on this sort of nondescript title, I realized this nothing idea is closer to the truth than I initially thought.

Judaism has taught me that I am both nothing and simultaneously capable of tipping the entire world into goodness by one action.

Today I got the nothing part down; I don’t feel like I have anything innovative to share.

Yet the “nothing” carries tremendous comfort.

Recently, my trust and connection with G-d /Hashem has taken a big lift. Each morning, for the umpteenth time, I say a few things for which I am grateful. Despite my good intentions, it always feels like an exercise in rote recitation. A fill in the blank or check the boxes. I’ve known many people who swear by the value of practicing gratitude and it deeply affects their personal attitudes and perspective. For me, it’s just felt dutiful and un-impactful.


The ritual however has not changed. When I wake up, I say Modeh Ani and then I add a short very basic gratitude list. Thank you G-d/Hashem for my eyesight, for my hearing, for my sense of touch, for the air conditioning…

Now, here’s the different thing. As I thank G-d, I’ve recently begun telling myself…
My eyesight is here, right this second, because G-d/Hashem is giving me the gift of sight right this second. My hearing is here right this second because Hashem right this second is gifting me with the ability to hear. Somehow I accept this as true.

And suddenly gratitude is not a platitude. It fills me. For just those few moments, I don’t take for granted this myriad of seemingly normal things (like the ability to walk, talk, see…) and I have a glimpse of their majesty.


I am nothing without G-d giving me all these things and renewing them every moment. A mind, a beating heart, and to the heart of the matter, a soul.
Shehechezarta Bi nishmati B’chemla…(G-d restores my soul to me one more day with kind mercy).

I am taught our actions absolutely matter. With the brain, hands, and feet that we are given, we make a difference. Whether it is in the little condolence card we send that helps a bereaved acquaintance feel just a bit of comfort or saying hello with a smile to a  curmudgeon co-worker, it matters.

Lest I get too caught up in my nothingness, I have this holy responsibility.

Baby steps are good.

Amazing how…

nothing becomes something
in G-d’s hands.

Love, Vivi. ©

Nothing and Brown dog Photo from, Dog in blue shirt Photo by Charles Deluvio, Train tracks Photo by Dirk Vetter, Red critter Photo by Christine Sponchia, Lion Photo by Birger Strahl, Toddler Photo by Reynardo Etenia Wongso

About the Author
The proud mom of two adult sons, Vivi lives in Washington, DC. She has interpreted sign language for the U.S.Department of State and for performers such as Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks. Krav Maga is a current hobby as well as singing in a non-denominational Gospel choir. Vivi's latest passion is sharing her positive Jewish experiences in her new blog
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