Today I had a conversation with a woman. Late fifties, healthy and she notices how she feels stuck in life. Work, family and volunteering work had all by itself dropped away. And she had entered the void. This empty place that you notice when all other things drop away. She said: “I feel restless with the silence. I want to get up and do something”. Sounds familiar? Yeah, we all have these moments.
It made me think about silence and the void. We are all raised as people that hardly sit down. We try to avoid the silence and sitting still. People around us kindly push us into helping, being there for others and otherwise you are called lazy. Until in the end people can get lost when they spend time alone, in silence or when life brings the void in.
For one reason or another life will send you the silence again. To be reconnected and hear the voices in your head rattling along with good advice, critique and anything that will have you get out of your chair and help others. When is it time to help yourself? When is enough really enough? Do we have to wait for disease or burn-out to take a time out?
Give yourself a gift and embrace the void when life gives you one. When you get the time to sit down and be alone. Feel who you have become and what you feel like when with yourself. Of course it is a challenge in the beginning and a blessing in the end when you can be in the silence of the void.
In May 2000 I met the void. In the shape of Odin, the blank rune. I was not amused. I disliked silence, the void was to be avoided at all times. My life needed speed and as many as possible attractions and experiences per day. A friend said about the same blank rune: “I love that rune. It is my favorite.” What did she say there!?! I could not deal with it. I was angry and pissed of by the runes.
Much later I read the meaning of the rune and this particular sentence has stayed with me over the years.
Here the Unknowable informs you that it is in motion in your life. In that blankness is held undiluted potential. At the same time both pregnant and empty, it comprehends the totality of being, all that is to be actualized. And if, indeed, there are “matters hidden by the gods,” you need only remember: What beckons is the creative power of the unknown.
The conversation today made me realize that somewhere I did embrace the void. It happened so softly and swiftly, I did not even notice. I gave thanks to her for making me aware that emptiness is pregnant with possibility. I no longer fear it, I welcome it and live out of my own silence on a daily basis. The circle is closed, the voice is embraced again.