Over at “Find Your Middle Ground”, Val Boyko shares this inspiration from Lao Tzu today.
The potter knows she plays with clay but works with space,
For the use of the bowl is its empty space.
It is the same with the room,
Made whole by the emptiness between the walls.
Remember that something is not everything.
Nothing is also essential. *
~ Lao Tzu
“Something is not everything. Nothing is also essential.”
I sometimes wonder what happens to the space we each fill in this world after we are gone. Are our lives but cracks in the fabric of the universe filled in with our being present during our lifetime?
What fills the emptiness that remains where once we walked? Does it become filled with air, with more life? Or is just memory? Ethereal, whimsical, nothing more than a thought.
There is something to each memory that has nothing to do with the empty spaces left behind.
Perhaps it is because I have been thinking of my brother’s death 19 years ago. It reminds me of next year’s marker. 20 years.
How can that be?
And still, to look that far ahead to the emptiness of the time that is not yet filled, pulls me out of this moment right now where both the nothing and the something embrace me.
And so I breathe.
Without the memories of those we love, what do we have?
I don’t believe so.
For they once filled our lives with something beyond the nothingness.
They once filled our world with joy and everything in between.
To hold onto the nothingness is to sink into the rich, deep earth of the spaces between life and death and revel in the awe and wonder of being alive in this moment right now.
And that is life. Spaces filled moment by moment with something other than the nothing that exists between the walls we inhabit, the spaces we walk, the words we share.
Life is this journey of everything between the nothing and the something made whole by the everything we do and say and are and create.
And to see it, to feel it, to know it, to be it, we must embrace the nothingness and celebrate the wholeness of everything that is essential to living in the precious moment of life today.
Joy. Laughter. Tears. Sadness. Wonder. Fear. Anger. Possibility.
Like an empty bowl formed of clay, we encompass all the emotions, all the states of being and hold nothing in our being that is not essential to creating wholeness within our lives.
This journey of life is not about making something of nothing. It is about honouring the nothing we are before life begins and holding the space between the nothing we become when we are gone, to create something of wonder and awe out of the essential nature of our being present to life on earth.
Or as Peter Mayer sings in his song, Japanese Bowl, “I have some cracks in me. They are filled with gold.” Perhaps it is that in the nothing we see between the cracks and empty spaces, is the true value of our lives filling in the nothingness between the cracks.