Welcome back to another blogpost hopefully this one will be penned without the haste of the last one. It seemed like last month I was trying to pack in as much hustle as I could bustle. Blogs are something I don't like to leave until the last moment, but I also don't want to rush them. Generally I like to have an idea simmer and ferment for a day or two. That used to be easier to manage because I didn't have as much going on which brings me to this week's topic, emptiness.
I'm not going to go all Eastern philosophical on you (well I might stray east of south a bit). I've been looking at the negative spaces in my life and by negative space I mean the place without action going on. The place where something is missing. In the dead of winter, devoid of warmth, I start looking at the areas of my life that aren't measuring up. I've been putting a heavy spin on them of late, but I think I've been wrong about them.
I remember being bored as a child quite a lot. I was the youngest and the only boy, and there was no one in my neighborhood to play with. I had to make my own amusements. This lead to increased imaginativeness, creativity, and okay I admit it, the occasional mischief. As I got older it lead to a voracious appetite for reading, doodling, and exploring my inner mind. As grateful as I am for high speed internet access and cell phones now, I am even more grateful that I didn't have them growing up. It gave me plenty of empty time and space to practice meditations, explore the woods, and read for people.
That emptiness which I equated to loneliness and spurned is actually responsible for almost all the good things in my life right now. However these days it is far too easy to fill any space in our time with texting, Facebook, and yes the Siren song of Youtube. I mean you can learn anything on Youtube and there is so much content you will never run out of interesting things to see. I'm not saying any of those things are bad, on the contrary they are immensely useful. What is not the best is instantly going to our devices to fill our time so that we aren't present in those empty moments. When I worked retail more, I always took a sketchbook and notepad with me, and often some reading material in case we were slow. Many of my coolest creations are a result of a slow night and doodling to pass the time. (I mean you can only clean a store so much).
The void is the womb of creation. In its vast emptiness, it contains everything. Our current model of society seems to run in panic away from the void, away from the source of all our best innovations. We are so used to amusement on demand that we forget how to create from that emptiness. In emptiness we grasp for the fires of creativity within ourselves and we reach out to our fellow beings.
So how does this apply to you? Are you aware of the empty spaces in your life? Is there a gap in some area of your life that you are rushing to fill? What happens if you dwell in that space instead of scurrying away from it instantly? Have you overfilled your life to the point there is no empty space? Are you children able to entertain themselves, or do they require manufactured amusements? Do you leave space for others to enter into your story? If not perhaps it is time to do some early spring cleaning and clean out your mental schedule. If you have a space in your life that feels sorely lacking don't freak out, just mind the gap.
Peace and Blessings,