Sunday, July 3, 2016

Something Out of Nothing

My day planner goes blank after May 19th. Every day before then has meetings, deadlines, tasks, and obligations competing with each other, overlapping, and spilling over the borders of date, time, and neat little boxes.

Then the pages are blank. The entire month of June has not one line of something I am supposed to do. Page after page is just empty spread sheets of dates, times, and blank paper for notes that never got taken. As a marker of how I have scheduled my time, this says I am nothing, no one, a slacker extraordinaire.

On one hand, I have lost six weeks, and counting, of my life. I have completed nothing of any social worth. I am also getting soft and weak. It's been a disaster of a summer.

On the other hand, I have been sinking down into silence, solitude, stillness. I have, in other words, been hanging out in a lot of nothing.

Now, nothing has its charms. It's a great place to rest for one thing. It's also a place to remember what and who one is when all the trappings of busyness are lifted away.

I notice a rising hunger for both distraction (movies, food, sex, beer, shopping, errands, fantasies, drugs, drama, and on and on) and sustained focus. The distraction wants out of the quiet; the focus wants to go deeper into it.

I am waiting to see what will emerge as I sink down deeper into this place of blank pages.


  1. It's reminiscent of "silent" retreats of my own past, the intentional situational-solitude and distraction-free quiet. The first day or so was always bliss ... and then the annoyance of distraction-longing started to occasionally pop-up, till it became a pressing concern.

    This passed though, and the desire of distraction was simply a companion with whom I was on nodding terms throughout my day.
    To be sure my retreats were of significantly shorter periods (a week or so), but the moment I stepped back into my "regular" life, full of distraction activity and thinking, I so longed for the peace and solitude of the retreat.

    I learned that I need the disconnect, on a regular basis. That said though, I still have remnant patterns of judgment in my mind that are persistent when I'm not doing or going or accomplishing -- more "shoulds" to let go of.

    Whatever you're going to "do" during this recovery will come. And if the doing isn't obvious, then perhaps the not-doing and solitude are simply what your body and spirit need right now.

    All that said, I could also bring over a couple of beers and just sit and watch the evening sunset ... as a distraction from your solitude. :D

    1. Hey B Lewis -- Thanks for the thoughts. You are a man who gets it, and, yes, lets chat sometime. You know where to find me.