By Debbie Lynn
How many times have you looked around and found that you are in the midst of something so ordinary it becomes overwhelming and surreal?
Often? You are in very good company.
And as trite as it sounds, capturing the magic of the chaotic daily grind is truly a saving grace to this problem. I like to call it the art of nothing. It is taking the undistinguished occurrences that ravage our soul, tax our mind, deplete our independence and turn them into nothing.
It’s like watching a cloud dissipate, or the gentle passing breeze. Finding something lucid, something tangible and something kind in a mundane and/or shitty situation—then seeing how spectacular our day-to-day life actually is—becomes art. The art of nothing.
Nothing is the way our heart beats, the way we take in a breath then let it out without thought. Nothing is moving through situations one after another (high and low) with minimal effort. It is the landscape of our presence, an unexpected bloom and “nothing” is so very transient. It is beautifully, wonderfully transient, because “nothing” is forever.
So when life seems to be stagnate, the tendency is to believe there is something else out there we are missing. We unconsciously call in problems and cling to the disturbances. We hold vigil around them like they are the only possession we own (yes we are human), but this is where we get trapped. Out of “nothing” we create something that is really quite unordinary (drama) and it stirs the pot just enough it is too hard let it go (e.g. too present, too real, too much) and it may scare us.
You see there are powerful forces at work in idle disruption.
As we live and breathe in standard mode (good or bad), those forces can make us feel alive even in the worst situations. We lean into sabotage, mess up the calm (the nothingness) because the “art of nothing” takes all that emotional juice away and keeps us centered so we don’t have a meltdown. It is finding a way to make sense of a senseless situation and make it tolerable without reeking havoc on our soul.
And “nothing” doesn’t mean not feeling, not doing or not being present; it means giving some room for a much-needed reprieve.
Dormancy is not a bad thing because it is where “nothing” resides. It is a to place to rest, get caught up and find balance, because there is so much potential in the simplicity and the implication of this space. Lose the complaints, the tears and the melodrama and quit giving them permission to breed.
Simply stated: Let them be nothing.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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- Appreciating Peace in a Violent World - September 27, 2018