Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Loudest Emptiness

“There was a disturbance in my heart, a voice that spoke there and said, I want, I want, I want! It happened every afternoon, and when I tried to suppress it, it got even stronger.” —Saul Bellow Henderson The Rain King

This same feeling has been beating within my heart over the last couple of days. My heart, my soul, something is feeling strangely empty…

It started quietly…and I could fix it with a piece of chocolate, or a hug from a friend. But it’s been growing…spreading…becoming more than I can deal with.

I tried to buy it a few more things, every time singing to myself, “What can I buy to make the sky turn blue again?” I guess whatever this is inside of me knew that it wouldn’t be satisfied with things.

For a few days I was able to ignore it. Becoming so busy with life that it just seemed to disappear. But here in these quiet moments when I’m working on my art or my homework or my writing, it peeks around the corner and, finding no immediate resistance it leaps. Teeth bared, claws raised and it begins ripping into this emptiness, making it bigger and deeper all the while screaming “Fill me! Fill this empty space!”

Part of me knows what this apparition is seeking. Another part of me won’t listen to that—because it knows that no matter how it protests there in nothing in my control that will allow me to fill its ravenous need.

If I could have anything…it would be the ability to turn off my emotions and not feel a single thing. Why don’t I ask to fill the emptiness? Simply because if it isn’t filled by the will of someone outside of me then it will become forever insatiable.

How can I continue like this? How am I, filled with this void, supposed to look you in the eye without your seeing the emptiness behind them?

“Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.” —Eric Hoffer

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