Messages From the Void
This year has been filled with a lot of closed doors. Opportunities that fell through, relationships that sputtered, partnerships that I depended on floundering. It’s hard to have EVEN ONE of these things crop up a year, much less a kind of monthly crisis.
I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to bulldoze over my feelings.
“This is ok. I can fix this. I’ll figure out something”
But right now, more than half way through the year, I’m realizing when I repress my feelings I also tamp down my creativity.
It HURTS. It hurts like hell that things are so hard right now, when I have this delicate trust that I am trying to establish between me and the mystery that I am worthy of a good life. It hurts like hell that right now all evidence feels like it’s pointing to the contrary.
It hurts every time I see another musician playing a gig at someplace I contacted but never heard back from.
It hurts every time someone is celebrating their success, because it feels like just more proof of what I haven’t been able to do.
It hurts every time yet another door gets shut and locked because I am terrified, ultimately, that nothing will ever go my way again.
I’ve been running and running and running from this pain so hard that I haven’t stopped to be creative. I haven’t paused to feel where I feel inspired. What might feel good to do in the abundance and time and quiet and space that I have right now. I haven’t paused to even contemplate what doors I would LIKE to open.
The void is pregnant with possibility, but very often we are so afraid of the pain of loss that we never let ourselves get past it. We want to solve the problem of the closed doors, force them back open, MAKE IT HAPPEN, not because we necessarily want what is on the other side, but because we’re afraid ultimately of the unknown.
Fear is always the impetus behind control - it’s behind industrialization, domestication, and ultimately colonialism on a grand historical scale. It’s the jealous boyfriend. The hustling “girl boss” filling your feed with sales pitches. It’s the micromanager at work.
We seek to control, because we think it is safer, but instead it is death.
Nothing moves if there is no room for entropy, mystery, the void. No matter how inspired and brilliant you are, nothing new can come from the vacuum of total control.
When I write, I avoid listening to music for long stretches of time. I want to let myself “hear’ what is naturally occurring in my head. I need quiet, and long expanses of time to noodle on the guitar, and a certain amount of emptiness in my head so I’m not thinking about problem solving, I’m just allowing whatever it going to come up to come up.
And this may be the gift of all of these closed doors this year - the stretch of silence and time I need to let the void bring me to wherever I need to be, to become my own symphony, to learn to allow and let go - because the opposite of control is grace.