Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Open Empty

 by Zinta Aistars
I’m always feeling it, needing it, but never more than now, when space has become so packed, time spread so thin, so that my mind feels caged and claustrophobic, and my spirit bangs around inside me in silenced scream.
I need open, empty space.
That place, that space, that comes between chores, errands, obligations and duties.
That place, that space, that appears between busyness and rat race.
That vast emptiness that the uninitiated refer to as boredom, but the wise ones recognize as space to dream. Here, creativity unrolls the red carpet and invites a beautiful madness in. Vivid dreams, more than a little mad, intoxicated with possibility, dance here, in that great empty ballroom with dusky lighting.
Yes, dim those lights and let me dream. Sit by the fire with legs outstretched and arms hanging loose over the arms of the chair, in decadent sprawl. Head thrown back to stare at the sky. Shape clouds into flittering butterflies, fire-belching dragons, mustachioed tyrants and leaping sheep, caped bullfrogs riding on their woolly backs.  
Let my fingers sink into sand and play. Play as children do. Build mansions in the mind that crumble into snaking tunnels that open gates to kingdoms.
Let me wander in the woods, dodge slants of sunlight, pocket odd mushrooms and acorns, gather wild things in my arms, recognizing kindred spirits. See the shadows of gnomes coming out of hiding. Hear the creatures speaking in languages I suddenly recognize.
Where is that empty place where I can finally exhale?
Where the responsibilities end. That finish line. There. Free. At last, free to wander and look for treasure.
I know it’s here somewhere. I buried it myself, long long ago. A more hopeful self, a dreamer with ocean waves shushing in my ears, a scoundrel, a rascal, a tomboy.
Let me climb trees. Tall ones, scraping skies, wide-shouldered, those ancient oaks where I can sit far out on the limb and dangle bare legs, mosquito-bitten. Sing from the belly, roar from the heart, as if no one can hear me. As if everyone can.
Where is that time for nothing? That precious, sweet moment? Fallen off the calendar, swept off the clock, unrecorded by the stingy time keeper. Stolen and luscious.
To do nothing, nothing at all.
That sorely needed, longed for moment when I am needed nowhere, by no one, set loose like dandelion fluff to swirl on the drunken breeze. Unshackled prisoner, run! Dog chewed through his leash, run! Moth sliding through the crack in the lid of the jar, fly! Spark rising from the bonfire toward the night sky, circle, spin and away!
It’s in that space, in that place of the open empty, that new wonders are born. Tasty thoughts. Craven ideas. Elegant epiphanies. Flashes of stunning and rock-busting revelation.
All this crowdedness, this cramped busyness, this chasing chore to chore, knocking off to-do lists, churning out orders and projects and more, oh enough. My brain is overfull.
I long to wake up and have nothing to do. Not one thing. So that I can finally begin to discover how life was meant to be lived. In the expansive luxury of the unowned and unowning. When I grow quiet enough to hear whispers again, to go where it softly leads me.

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