I have nothing brilliant to say tonight and yet I find myself  lingering here.  I feel I need to write something moving, or say something splashy, witty or deep.  But tonight–I got nothing. 

I am not very good with nothing.  Negative space was a concept that always threw me off in high school art class.  Noise could be my middle name.  I have always been a more more more kind of girl.  More stuff, more papers, more books, more coffee, more ice cream.  I have learned to live in clutter, justifying it as the product of an active creative mind.  I stuffed my brain full of endless chatter, my house full of momentos, my office full of papers.  Nothing (and her twin sister silence) scared the bejezus out of me.

But over the last few years something has shifted  and I am beginning to learn to welcome them in.  When Juan moved out I wanted to change the environment in the house and give myself space to grieve and move on.  I sought the advice of my friend Pat, a feng shui diva.  She pointed out that there was no room for me to rest mentally or emotionally in my house.  My eyes were always falling on something and all that something was tripping me up. 

Slowly but surely  I have been getting rid of the clutter.  Not just in the house, but my life.  I am giving or throwing away things I don’t love or use.  Making hard choices on how to spend my time and money.  Saying no more often, chosing only things that will feed my soul.  Driving means driving–not cell phone calls, knitting at red lights or NPR (well maybe a little NPR) 

But that means there is suddenly a whole lot of nothing in my life–wide open expanses.  And silence.

And just because I welcome the nothing and the silence doesn’t mean I am completely comfortable with them.  Like tonight I sit and try to will something to come and fill the void.  But I have to resist the temptation to fill these spaces.  I need to learn to breathe into them.  To let go.

Growth will not happen without nothing.  A bumper crop of strawberries cannot grow in a field choked with weeds.  So turn the soil I must, let the field lay fallow and wait here in silence.  

A summer will soon arrive and my fields will be full to brimming with sweet fruit.  But for now–I will settle for nothing. 

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