There is a certain loveliness in nothingness, in unencumbered stillness, in silent empty space. In this absence of something there is a void that aches to be filled. Therein lies potential and that potential is infinite.
At least I tell myself this as I sit at the back door watching the trees dance in the wind. It is early morning and I am in the process of appreciating some idle time.
I still wake up at 4:45 a.m. A feat that has taken this once proud night owl years of cultivation to achieve and I will get as much down time as I can get even if it is in the early morning. Nothing lasts forever and this extra time will not.
In order to appreciate this time that I have seized for myself in an act of desperation, I must engage myself in the art of doing nothing.
My last job was in itself a culture of stress. I worked in a very busy call center in the public safety sector. There was high expectations and a rigid adherence to numerous and various state laws and regulations that required me to make statements that made callers confused and upset, this made customer service difficult at best. My days were timed to the tenth of a second, over one minute late and you have an “occurrence” and points were given, points that added up very fast for some and there was/ is a high turnover rate. I did well though. My calls were listened to and graded. I was thought of as smart and competent , I took direction well and after a while I did start to sound like the others: A caller once told me I sounded like a robot.
I almost cried then.
There was a reason why I wasn’t the only one who had constant migraines there.
I felt I was drowning, gasping for air. I felt desperate. An anger rose up in me that was not me at all. This started to effect my relationships with my husband and family. I felt sick to my stomach and my energy was zapped. I felt like a zombie just trying to get to the next day, to the weekend where I would try to cram as much living as I could in 2 days.
I bet my former coworkers would have been surprised to know that I am on the Autism Spectrum, I have masked it pretty well my whole life but that takes its physical and emotional toll on me and that job was not the best for someone with sensory issues, it may be one of the worst. 47 hour weeks of this for nearly two years did me in and burned me out. The job that gave me and my family health insurance made me sick.
Before I gave my notice I obtained a part time temporary gig in retail. It pays the bills, just almost. In the two months I have been there I have been much happier and healthier. I am getting myself back.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
Nothing gives birth to creation.
It provides the empty space for something to occur. Nothing is an empty cup waiting to be filled, it is up to us to fill it.
The only real commodity is time. We are selling hours of our lives for money. Money we need to survive. Most of us have no control over this and have to spend much of our lifetime devoted to that task.
There is no time for nothing. There is no blank canvas on which to create and on which to write the narrative of our lives. Some fortunate people have jobs that them happy, that happiness is reflected in their work and everyone around them can share in this happiness. They are excited to get up and start working for the day. I want to be one of those people.
I believe that I can contribute to society in a greater way than I am now, I should say in a better way. Whether I am baking bread, selling jewelry in a store or writing something that makes people laugh or cry or think.
This rat is so very tired of the race.
And so I sit here at the back door, feeding a few squirrels that have gathered. My mind has time to reflect, my writing voice is coming back, the one that has lain dormant for a few years. I hear it speaking in whispers, I can barely hear but I am listening.
The dream of my life is to lie down by a slow river and stare at the light in the trees – to learn something by being nothing
“And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.”
5 thoughts on “The infinite loveliness of nothing”
Glad you have escaped from a bad situation and are looking forward positively. I do hope you find a job you really love Nancy! You have so much life experience to share and writing is a good start!
I have much hope Cathy! I am currently applying for financial aid so I can go back to school, I am very stoked about that. My personal/home life has improved so dramatically over the past three years , now it is time to improve my working life.
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Good luck Nancy! 🤗
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It’s so great to be able to read your heartfelt and articulate writing again. I’m sure all of your readers have been hoping you would contribute more to your blog just as much as I have. You have such a gift in describing the core of your thoughts and experiences honestly and gracefully, and it seems you have expanded your skills even more with your recent entries.
I couldn’t help but relate to your keen sense of where you are in the moments you describe. Taking the time to notice and to be able to deftly describe the extraordinary components of what we might generally think of as “ordinary” is the perfect way to gain a more balanced perspective, and even though you are sometimes recalling your struggles, you compensate by appreciating the beauty and serenity of the very moment in which you live. You’ve clearly made significant progress and have truly begun to discover what you were meant to do all along.
Many of us can understand how the necessity to generate income can press us to accept circumstances which are not especially beneficial in other ways, but which sustain us in important ways. Finding work that sustains us and also enriches us in some ways as individuals is not the norm, but it is achievable if we continue to strive for it, and recently I have made decisions in this regard that have been less rewarding financially, but have improved my everyday life enormously. There is a necessary trade-off when we do this, but as soon as I was able to manage it, I took the plunge and it has opened up other possibilities that are essential to my well-being.
Please continue to make whatever effort you can to improve your life as possible and share with us as much as you are able. We are all cheering for you and wishing you the best…John H.
Hello John, I am encouraged by your articulate and thoughtful comments. It is significant and it means a lot to me that someone is out there reading what I write and that perhaps my words will someday make their way out into the big wide world.
I am also inspired by the fact that you too have made a similar plunge to simplify in your life you seem satisfied with.
Thank you for your response and for your encouragement.