Day 56 – something’s missing…. nothing

Jude phoned me at 11am this morning to let me know she was on her way to pick me up for the samba gig in Banff. I was still in bed. I went from sound asleep to sambafied in 34 minutes (though I did have to eat my breakfast in the car).

My life seems to be a lot like that lately, flying from one thing to another. I’m really grateful I just snapped and said FUCK on what would have beeen Day 54, and let go of trying to post daily from here on in. I think if I had to force that on top of everything else I: a) would have lost it b) done daily posts streaming profanity or ranting about hating having to post.

It was a hard thing to let go of, I tend to be pathologically honorable and stick to a commitment no matter what, just on the principle of the thing. I’m actually very proud of myself for giving up on this one (or at least redefining it). But I realized this is my fourth 100 day project of one sort or another, and I stuck through the daily commitment on all of them, even the days I was so flu-addled I could hardly sit up to type there’s some great flu-inspired haiku out in cyberspace somewhere. So I don’t really have anything to prove on the posting daily front.

But I wanted to push myself to write fiction, and fiction, I’m discovering, requires a lot of space to be written in. Before, I just needed the time to meditate or get centred so that what I wrote came from a solid place and wasn’t just a bunch of monkey mind chatter. But fiction needs a quiet place for the story to grow, and time for the story to form into words. And time alone is not something I’m getting a lot of these days.

When I made the shift to focusing on fiction I kinda dropped the meditation too, spending whatever free mornings I had drinking coffee and letting my brain wander through thoughts on zombie love, instead of sitting. And now I’m really missing it. For all that I’ve got going on, I’m really missing that coming to ground, that centering, the point of stillness that keeps me tethered in the storm.

So I’m writing tonight, ’cause it’s late and it feels like even the internet has gone to bed, so that I can connect to that place of stillness I’ve created on here. I’m sure there’s some freaky quantum thing that happens between all those ones and zeros out there, a matrix that holds what people have put into it, and I really needed to reconnect with some of what I’ve left behind in the last fifty-odd days.

My days are so full, and yet what I’m full of is longing. Something’s missing, and it’s the nothing. What I want more of so badly is less. It’s too full, I’m bursting. I keep trying to recalibrate, back off, find the space I need, but something else is always there, something that I love, something I really want to do. So I steal little moments to myself when I can, trying to be more efficient in my solitude – and rushing to get the most of of my alone time does not get me more out of my alone time. I need to get back to sitting again, even if just for a few minutes, minutes where all I’m supposed to do is…nothing, and not try and get anything out of that.

And I need to get down to the river. I walked across 10 ST bridge in the rain last weekend, rushing to a breakfast meeting. When I felt that river flow under my feet, it stopped me dead in my tracks, and I stood there, just letting it flow for a good 10 minutes. Stopped caring about being on time for a meeting. Because I felt like I was back in the arms of a long lost friend, and if I didn’t stop and treasure it, I’d lose it, and I’d lose a part of my self. Something deep touches my soul in those moments, fills me up. And I hadn’t done that in a really long time. And I haven’t been down to the river since.

I need to go back, something in me’s running dry, and the only thing that’s gonna fill me up, is nothing.

3 thoughts on “Day 56 – something’s missing…. nothing

  1. A place to sit and fill with nothing, how lovely. When you described the time when you stopped on the bridge to receive the river’s gift rather than hurry off to your meeting, some little bell inside me rang. I find the same thing when I’m in the mountains especially by mountain lakes. Something inside me breathes a huge sigh, and everything physical and intangible just softens and relaxes. When the gentle waves come in and lap the shore and pulls back out, it’s hypnotic and I sit on a stump while I lose sense of time. It’s as if the waves become a magnet to the daily stresses and pulls them out of my mind, carries them away and offers them to some deep universal abyss. At that point I feel that sweet sensation of nothing.

    I recently watched a movie based on Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. The main character is searching for something to satisfy a hunger inside himself. He goes through different experiences from a life of privilege, a life of poverty, a meeting with Buddha, a life building an empire, a life of passion but nothing satisfies his craving heart. The only place he feels the peace he is searching for is to become a ferryman by a river. The ferry man with whom he apprentices tells him that the river has profound yet simple wisdom to teach. The river is a place of healing.


    1. So beautiful Donna, I nearly cried. You gave me the gift of nothing this morning.

      Thank you.

      And I’ve got a date with the river this morning, my toes tingle in anticipation!


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