Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Loud and Clear Empty

I awoke this morning to a loud, clear sound. It was just like the one you hear when you’re standing in a large, empty room. The kind of space where the smallest sound will echo and each and every noise tumbles effortlessly off the walls. The sound of emptiness. At first it alarmed me. But then I realized that it had taken the place of what preceded it.

Depression has a low, dull hum to it. It muffles the world around you. It stifles beauty. It is like a cloud hiding the sun. Or fog over a window. The beauty is still there, but cannot be seen or heard. Not right now anyway.

I don’t care for labels and the word ‘depression’ is not one I relate to exactly. But the darkness of feeling overwhelmed, the mask of being a compulsive work soldier, the fog of being trapped in too many day-to-day demands. That one I know like I know the backs of my soiled hands. And it seems to have the same ring to it as depression.

Lately I’ve been creating space, outside and in, my homestead, my life and my body, to make room for wonderful, magical things. Unfortunately the first item of business was to clear away the unwanted debris. This meant getting rid of a lot of junk in my house, trying to move my body in intentional and physical, not just work-horse, ways and carving out time for activities that filled the soul of our family with real and lasting benefits and returns.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The work of a farm and family are rewarding and fulfilling. They are satisfying in ways that coupon shopping and matinee popcorn could never be effective (at least not for me). But they are limitless and, therefore, always threatening to consume you. And they are willing to take the health of your family down with it. So you need preventative measures to keep your spirit soaring and your heart awakened. You need to make sure everyone is still laughing around you. You need to move slowly, surely and steadily towards brightness. This can happen anywhere: in your work, with your family or on your own time. And I was forgetting how to do this as I made attempts to ‘get everything done’.

So back to my big, empty room. Sounds scary, right? Awaking to the echoes of silence, the boom of nothing. But upon further examination in the dark, I realized that the low, hum had disappeared. Left behind was clarity, a promise of possibility and an endless sea of opportunities waiting to be seized. Terrifying indeed. Who can handle so little structure? You mean I can put ANYTHING I WANT in this big, empty room?

So I guess the next step after clearing away your junk and making a spot to allow yourself to bloom, is to decide what to do with the space. My lady’s lair is now filled with craft materials, music-making tools, books, photo albums, memorabilia and comfy places to write or just sit and strum my guitar. What I had not expected was the change that would occur inside of me. I had imagined needing to eat better (cut out the Halloween treats!), and exercise more to take the sluggish away, but the space in my brain? I didn’t see that coming.

So, yes, I’m terrified. But I’m excited! I think my ass-whooping is working! And we are now November 1st. The day that I had planned to begin this overhaul on the ‘low-hum’ I began to call my life.

What will I put here? Will I just learn to marvel at the sounds my thoughts make when I bounce them around an empty room? Will God come rushing in and show me what comes next?

Well stick around and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it all goes.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe part prayer and part practice? Marveling at the sounds of your OWN thoughts sounds like a wonderful place to begin. I keep a copy of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron handy and I sift through it from time to time to help with my chronic backsliding. I have coffee in hand and am looking forward to reading more on your creative journey. Cheers.


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