INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Thursday, April 18, 2002

The Value of Emptiness

Jeneane has admonished us to get more personal in our blogging ("I dare you" were her actual words). So I'll try to take her dare to heart today.

Jeneane, in my estimation, has earned the mantle of "The Conscience of Blogging." Some might refer to her as the Queen of this realm, and I wouldn't argue with that. But she would have to share that throne with quite a few others. Elaine, Denise, Halley, Rebecca Blood are just a few that immediately spring to mind. As The Conscience of Blogging, however, I assert that she has no peer.

Anyway, I'm sitting here in my Berkeley Hills home, looking out on San Francisco Bay; an amazingly beautiful April day; the clearing sky with bright sun and brisk spring breeze; air feeling like the High Sierra; the Bay emitting unaccustomed Aegean blue; the magical city across the water shimmering white like a Greek isle; anticipating my trek over there tomorrow night to have the shit rocked out of me by Lucinda Williams at the Fillmore; both of my sons happily pursuing serious relationships with outstanding young women; wife's practice humming along nicely.

And Yet……..

there's a big hole somewhere in the middle of me.

Isn't it amazing? Most of the time we're struggling with this or that problem, fighting off our various demons, dreaming that someday, if we just try hard enough, we might get to the kind of place that I'm in today. So what the hell is going on? How can there be any emptiness in the midst of so much bounty?

Then it hits me. This Emptiness is a gift!! It's my reward for having succeeded today in telling my concerns for my "security" to fuck off. Emptiness equals Space equals Opportunity to be with my Spirit for a change, instead of my demons and petty agendas.

Eric Norlin's observation comes to mind: "God is all about attention." Yes, indeed, and if Major Upset (e.g., my cat's violent death) is required to yank me out of my lapsed attention, God will not stop it from happening..

Or, I can be proactive about the matter of attention to the Divine. I can choose to spend the day with my Spirit (don't ask me to define what that is. "Being with my Spirit does not exist in the definable realm. That doesn't make it any less real).

I think of Jean Shinoda Bolen's directive: "Show up, and pay attention." I've already covered the "pay attention" part. As for the showing up, I check my to do list and place a critical eye on making the distinction between what's truly non-optional and what isn't. For non-optional I apply this test: an immediate or very near-term negative consequence would result from not doing the item.

Only two items qualify. All I have to do is show up for these two. Everything else can go to hell--or be completed. Strictly my choice. And sure enough--items with which I normally have an epic struggle--like exercising--just flow like melted butter. They don't occupy an ounce of my psychic energy because I'm too busy Being With My Spirit.

If only I could bottle this.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home