There are times when we feel empty. When there seems nothing left in us, nothing to give, nothing to do, absolutely no-thing to think. E M P T Y.
I am currently, like the Israelites in Egypt, experiencing a time of plenty, but there were times when I felt like I had nothing, I was nothing, I would never be anything.
I was looking for a particular piece of writing the other day, it is something that has been in my mind for a while and I wanted to share it. On my way through my note books I found a piece titled ‘Empty’. I wrote it in 1993.
The sense of the piece was one of total despair. It was alongside a poem I had written for Mother’s Day (20th March 1993) and in the second piece I was questioning my dead mother. I asked her, “Why? Did you have to die?” I said that while others pacified me she was the only one that satisfied me – as only a mother can. Although I was no longer a child when I wrote that piece I still sensed a major loss and feelings of isolation were never far away. This was in no way balanced by belonging to a large family of siblings, cousins and others; in fact it made it worse.
I felt as if I had so much and yet there I was yearning for just one person. I felt wrong. I felt guilty. Because I wanted her back just for me.
In the poem, ‘Empty’ I indicated that there was no one I wanted to talk to – of all the people in the world I was at a loss to find even one with whom I was comfortable. So I kept running away from them. I acknowledged that I was scared.
But of what?
“I don’t know.
I don’t have anything to share
My life is just so ... bare.
Books, pens and paper
are what I turn to,
put in your place
they won’t criticize
or laugh in my face.”
(Taken from ‘Empty’, 1993, ©Marjorie H Morgan)
Everyone and thing seemed to be destroying me.
Bit by bit.
I wrote that every rejection (of anything that was everything to me)
“seems to tear a bit from inside
until I am so ...
I am glad that I wrote these things because they were true for me at the time. From where I am today I can say I am no longer empty but I can understand the feelings of total despair so easily.
What kept me going was finding an anchor in the things that kept me sane – just. For me that was always going to be books, literature and writing. Words. My words. My expressions. My creativity.
I have filled many volumes of books with words. They have healed me. They became my bridge from despair to hope.
How did I get from there to here?
It was never easy, but I did it the same way you eat an elephant - one bit at a time.
I took one step and just concentrated on that, the next step was often way beyond all considerations. To be fair, I never even knew I was taking steps at the time, I was just existing in the moment and that worked for me. Each moment led to a minute, then an hour, day, month and ... years eventually passed when suddenly I realised that I was no longer drowning, I was actually waving.
Everybody is gifted with their own lifeboat, mine has always been words. Yours may be different. It may be cycling, painting, baking, quilting, music, star gazing, animals, photography, walking ... you get the idea.
If, like me in the past, you get that empty feeling then reach for the saving thing in your life, your own personal gift of creativity and let it float you to safety. The lifeboat is a gift that is made up of your own personal passion. When you get lay down in the bottom of it you may feel lost in it, but stay there and the time will slip past and simultaneously the process of saving yourself takes place without you really noticing what’s going on.
I’m speaking from dry land at the moment. And I often use my words as an air-balloon - I fly so high with them! But that doesn’t mean that I’ll never need to use my words as a life-jacket again.