Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Giant Hole

This Saturday I tried an exercise I cannot remember ever trying:  I completely stayed in.

No trips anywhere.  No talking to anyone.  Except for a quick check on Facebook to see where everyone was, no current events.  No shopping.  No spending money.  Just me alone in the house.

The silence was very revealing.

Oh, I did things.  Cleaned the house.  Mowed the lawn.  Changed the quail.  Completed harvesting my garlic.  Read.  Watched some low budget movies.  Practiced Iai.

And was taken by the huge silence in my soul.

Here it is, the perfect opportunity, the one so many people dream about.  A day completely available to do whatever you want.  Anything.  No requirements on what to do or having responsibilities to complete.  Just time available for the filling.

And yet, nothing seemed to satisfy.

This got me to think as I was into the evening.  Activity after activity was engaged in and then stopped, trailing off into "I am bored".  It was if I was trying to fill a hole that could not be filled by anything that I had available.

What hole?  A good question, as I was not aware of its existence.  But as I thought about it, it suddenly made sense.  This sort of activity is not unknown for me and often represents my modus operandi:  get involved in an activity, follow it for a while, and then stop.  As if I had total lost interest - or as if I was trying to fill something up and, realizing that such an activity would not work, moving to the next one.

I do not know that I have a name for this hole.  I have ideas, but no names.

But now I have something to think on.  After all, it is not often that a heretofore unknown gap exists in one's life, one that is suddenly revealed to hold so many other things in its orbit.


kymber said...

my dear TB - gonna knock you in the head with this one - YOU NEED A MERMAID TAIL - bahahahahah!

ok - let's be serious. you seem to love taking care of your garden, you seem to love practicing iai, you seem to love to dwell in quiet moments, you seem to enjoy reflection on things. all of this says to me that you are a very spiritual being...who has not been keeping their spiritual side "fed". so should you set aside time to read the bible each week? i don't know. should you set aside time to go for a walk each week and think about absolutely nothing unless some idea comes to your mind? i don't know. but there is a very spiritual side to you that comes out loud and clear in your posts - so maybe you should set aside time each week to lay down in the grass and watch it grow.

i think that among all of the responsibilities that you feel you have to do - husband, father, job, iai, your highland throwing, etc. - that maybe you aren't giving your spiritual nature enough "food". could that be the hole? i don't know.

but i think from reading your posts for over a year now and developing an internet friendship, i think that you are a very spiritual being and you just haven't yet learned what to do with that part of yourself.

go find a bench in a park...or go out in your backyard and promise yourself to think of nothing. only feel. just feel. feel the air, feel the sun, or sunset, or dawn, or night, or the moon, or the aches in your feet - but NO thinking. just feel.

just feel. and if that leads you to laughing, crying, smiling, sobbing - it doesn't matter. just feel. and feed your "soul".

i hope this makes sense. i am being sincere in my advice because i do believe that you are my friend. and i am sending love always.

your friend,

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Dear Kymber - Thanks, as always, for the heartfelt advice. I take you as nothing other than sincere whenever you write.

I think you are right about the spiritual side - for me, there are some activities - writing, for example, or playing the harp - that I can simply lose myself in, things that are so intensely personal that it is hard to share them with.

Once upon a time I thought I was meant to be a pastor. It never quite worked out - as over time I found that any such position in the church was also out reach (sincere people deciding, but not always done in the kindest or best of ways). I suppose that has left me somewhat at a loose end as to how my spirituality works out.

I have (for years) been attracted to the teachings of Cistercian Order, not so much for their religious beliefs (I am not Catholic) but for their practices and manner of life: simple manual labor, research, prayer, silence. This sort of life speaks to me.

For years I have valued silence. Perhaps it is the one reason I can stand making the commutes that I have made: long stretches of time in the car are sometimes the only shot at silence I get in a day. Our society has become filled with visual and audio stimulation that surrounds us in a cloud - so much so that I find myself driven to distraction at work by the general noise level. I write to you in the silence of the house now - not just in the fact there is no other noise I can hear but the "silence" of the house as a whole. I can almost revel in it, feel it as a tangible thing.

I think you are right that the spiritual side is the whole, and I am reasonably sure (because I have tried) all the Bible reading and praying in the world will not fill it for me (Rev. Paul, if you see this, any input would be hugely welcome). How is the best way to make one's spiritual side more filled? I am sorely pressed for answers.

Much Love! - TB

kymber said...

TB - thank you for lovely comment on my last post about the disappointing denturist visit - i really appreciated it.

you love silence - that is obvious. i have had jambaloney take recordings with his phone outside during all times of the day and have been wanting to put the recordings up on the blog to show just how silent it is here at the Manor. we revel in the silence and when jambaloney comes home from a day at work - he needs that whole evening and the next day to just get back in touch with the silence. i haven't been off the property in 2 months so going in to the denturist was like pulling teeth for me - even though they were already pulled out 2 months ago. the noise of the traffic was awful. and the denturists office is very quiet, no other patients waiting there, we got there and went right in to see him, but the phone ringing and the receptionist answering and talking - it was overload for me.

enough about me - i am just explaining how much i enjoy the silence. you need to find a silent or semi-silent place that you can go to each evening. come home from work, eat supper with your family, converse about everyone's day, be engaging....but take at least 30 mins to go for a walk, or go into the garage, or to a park bench...but make it somewhere quiet. and spend 30mins minimum every night with yourself and quiet.

sending much love. your friend,

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

That sounds a lot like where my Parents live. Literally all that you can hear is the wind through the trees and the occasional sound of civilization.

I like that thought. 30 minutes of silence every day. And in the evening - I have that time in the morning for sure. I shall attempt to implement and report the results.