Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

{Disclaimer on today's Breathe....none of this is original to me. I am borrowing from wise men and women who have walked the same road I find myself on.}

Feeling empty can be terrifying, but it is the very essence of living well. Emptiness, that place where we feel like we have nothing, is the place where our souls meet the sufficiency of God.

I have actually been thinking a lot about emptiness lately because many times this last year, that is the state I have found myself in. This has been, in general, a tough, empty year. Lots of factors contributed...job changes, raising teenagers, conflict in relationships, wintery weather, death in the family, having to give up coffee for good....but all of them left me like a woman watching the last drops of water drain from the kitchen sink with a sigh.

So what good is emptiness? Is it simply a space, a vacuum into which new items should immediately rush and fill me before I can feel the reality of the emptiness? Or is emptiness, though not really to be sought out, to be welcomed as a friend on this journey of life?

Listening to my husband play his guitar the other day, I was lulled into the living room by the melody. Watching him, head down, fingers moving expertly along the strings, it struck me...that guitar is mostly emptiness. It is a little wood, a few strings and a lot of hollow emptiness inside. Yet that "mostly emptiness" is what creates the music.  In many ways, this is true of a lot of musical instruments. There seems to be more emptiness in them than any thing else. But it is that emptiness that makes the beautiful music we love so much.

Ann Voskamp writes, “We move to the music of emptiness. The curves of a guitar hold emptiness, and in Patient arms, emptiness can sing...The black space under the willing strings amplifies sounds and a chamber of dark is a holy hollowness holding songs.

Emptiness is not a bad is part of the life that we live.  It amplifies the resonances of the notes of our lives.  So what to do with emptiness? I think the only thing I can do....embrace it, sit in it, smile at it. To wait in it for those Hands to come, play and make my life sing again!

The key is to remember....emptiness can sing!!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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