Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stay Empty.

With such a full life, you would think it would be hard for me to feel empty.

But I would be lying if I told you that I felt full.

Empty is a hard place to be.  A sad place.  Often lonely.

It's hard to get anyone else to understand exactly where you're coming from.

It's funny because I have SAD and my "depressed" season is spring.  It's not spring.  It's winter.  And I'm not depressed.  At least it doesn't feel like that old familiar depression.  I just feel empty.

Today I tried to learn to play chords on the piano. 

Strike that.

I LEARNED HOW to play chords on the piano, but I'm so frustrated that it's taking so long and I'm playing so slowly.

Time goes SO FAST lately and life is so short. 

It's funny how much I relate to my character in the play I'm in now.  Sister James, in Doubt.  I just typed that I felt like life was moving quickly, like it's short.  The elder nun in the play tells Sister James, "Life is perhaps longer than you think, and the dictates of the soul more numerous..."  I am looking forward to feeling like life is longer than I think.  I feel like my thoughts on life are reversed. 

In high school, life dragged along.  I felt like high school would last forever.

College flew by and time has been speeding up ever since.

I've been having a hard time with learning anything new because I am so often interrupted.  Finding longer than fifteen minutes to myself is impossible.  I learned how chords work on the piano today, but I can't imagine when I'll be able to practice, and I get frustrated easily because so many people around me are such talented and competent musicians, and I'm just...  me. 

I learned HOW TO knit a few weeks ago, but I've only been able to do two or three rows since then because my daughter is always crawling in my lap and my son is always needing help with this or that and I'm tired. 

My friend, Deborah, got me this New Testament Greek book along with a workbook and it's been sitting on my desk for over a year now.  I haven't even opened it.  I want to open it, but I don't want to get frustrated by the interruptions so I just don't do it. 

I'm thirty or so pages into a novel that is finished in my head, but I need uninterrupted time to get it out on paper and I don't have it to spare.

Everyone says that we will make time for the things that are important to us - but how do you justify taking any time from your family?  Aren't your children the most important thing?  Shouldn't I be using my spare time to cultivate relationship with my husband?  And how do I maintain friendships?  How does all of that fit in to making art and writing? 

Those who are close to me will say that I use my time at the theatre, and I would say, that's true.  The thing about theatre is, it's something I can do right now.  I don't need much time to practice at home.  I'm a quick study in memorization and I do character work in the shower and while I'm brushing my teeth.  I go TO the theatre for rehearsal.  It only costs me the gas to get there and I have a skill set advanced enough to do the work without outside instruction.  My rehearsal time at the theatre is uninterrupted.  It is beautiful.

I've been reading a book about mothers balancing their art with their family life. 

I had hoped to gain some insight, but I was disappointed to find that most of those mothers hire nannies so that they can have uninterrupted time.

I am trying to accept that this is a season in my life during which no novels will be written.  It will be a season of scrawled and hasty poetry, unedited blogs, shoddy paintings, community theatre, and mediocre music. 

People keep telling me it's never too late to make art or learn to do it better.  I foresee a lot of art in my fifties.  Maybe I'll finally open those Greek books.

I don't mean to make this entry depressing.  Empty seasons can be good ones.  I need to re-shape my attitude along those lines.  The empty seasons are the seasons of preparation, not of despair.  I need to keep that thought on my radar  so I can get through and find Joy on the other side. 

It's funny because the future for me and mine is filled with so many prospects, but we have been in a period of wait for two years now, and the emptiness is finally getting to me.  The waiting to be filled.  The trusting that God has a plan. 

Stay Empty
by Aaron Niequist

My life is cracked in ways that I don’t understand,
And there are holes inside I never planned.
But this roller-coaster,
Is how You pull me closer.
And I trust that You are who You made me for –
And I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting;
I will stay empty,
Until You fill me up and I
I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting,
Until You fill me up with You.
Send Your floods to help me clean out my heart’s space,
Please come quickly, it’s so hard to wait.
This world is temporary,
I cry for sanctuary!
And throw myself into the strongest arms of Hope –
And I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting;
I will stay empty,
Until You fill me up and I
I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting,
Until You fill me up
with You.
It may come soon,
And maybe it won’t.
I want to run,
But I know You don’t.
I give You my heart,
And trust You in faith.
And cling to the blessings
I anticipate!
And I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting;

I will stay empty,
Until You fill me up and I
And I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting;
I will stay empty,
Until You fill me up and I
I will stay empty,
I will keep waiting,
Until You fill me up with You


Deborah said...

We really need "a date" sometime soon. Lots to commiserate on. Lots to learn from each other on. And just lots to encourage each other through.

Missy said...

K - let me know when you're free. Now that the show has opened, I have a few open evenings.

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