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"Filled With Emptiness" mind matters
November 5, 2002

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Nothing is more profound than nothing itself.

In my life, emptiness has great power. Empty spaces once were full.

Simplicity of space is like clarity of mind. Like the old tree that commands attention alone in an empty field. Like a single rose standing on the floor in a glass vase. Blankness empowers what is important.

I remember walking one last time through my old home, when all my belongings were in the truck outside. My feet moved slowly.

I love the magnificence of an endless hallway and high ceiling. I love to trace a skyscraper's edge with my eyes. My nightmares are being lost in giant landscapes, in gray fields without landmarks, like the cratered surface of the moon. And the starry night sky captures me, with objects so far away that the light reaching my eyes is two million years old.

The clear summer sky is blue and without depth. In winter, the field of white clouds I see from the airplane makes me lose my balance. The appeal of the endless highway, the illusion of the mountain that grows no larger as you approach. Some days I feel lost, and other days, free. As a writer, the blank page oppresses me because the first words on the page seem the most important.

I love to touch silence. Lying in bed at four a.m., the air is heavy and still. As a child I would sink to the bottom of a swimming pool and listen to nothing for as long as I could hold my breath. My heart stops when loud music suddenly halts or fades, and my mind stretches into that endless void left behind by the last played notes. The void is there when I leave a crowded bar into the peaceful night, felt upon my lungs.

The pregnant pause of a conversation. That utter silence between the last word of a prayer and the first sound of the congregation sitting down.

I've wandered the empty halls of my childhood schools on weekend days. I've felt the oppressive silence of people who are no longer with me, no longer in their space.

When I close my eyes in a very dark room and stand absolutely still, my body floats. I hold still, let my body grow heavy while my arms grow light. The earth spins, and I could swear that I feel it.

Emptiness has the power to fill me.

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Copyright 2002 Seth Maislin

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