“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.”
— Daisetsu T. Suzuki

Moon Snail Shells # 61 - 64, ink and watercolor sketches

Moon Snail Shells # 61 – 64, ink and watercolor sketches

“Become totally empty.
Quiet the restlessness of the mind.
Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness.”
— Lao Tzu

My empty moon snail shell calls to me.  I have been thinking lately that I need to carve more emptiness into my days.  Even my days off work feel too full. I am tired of not having enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.

I work only part time (30 hours/week) and my daughter is an adult living on her own.  So I should feel that I have enough balance between working for others and working/playing for myself.  When I think back, I didn’t feel so busy in my 30s and 40s when I was working and parenting full time.  What am I doing differently?

The culprits are books, blogging, and DVD movies.  One of the perils of working in a library is that I’m tempted by far too many reading and entertainment choices.  Over the years, I’ve succumbed to reserving and checking out more and more items.  It’s insidious.  There is always a new blockbuster, new releases that garner enticing reviews, clever titles, and inviting book covers.  A few decades ago I didn’t feel that I had to see every “good” movie or read every “good” book.  These days, access is too easy.  It’s a flood, and I’m drowning.

“The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring.”
— Raymond Chandler

This is not how I want to live the rest of my days, so it’s time for me to make some changes.  I need to set new parameters around my library borrowing.  And I will have to re-think how I use my blog.  By cutting back in these areas, I hope to give myself some space in my days, enjoy a slower and more relaxed pace, and live a more thoughtful and artful life.  I want to create some empty spaces so that some new possibilities can alight.  I want breathing room for my spirit.

“Whatever art offered the men and women of previous eras what it offers our own is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit.”
— John Updike

Within emptiness is the promise of satisfying fullness, not frantic, but thoughtful.

Moon Snail Shell # 65, watercolor painting

Moon Snail Shell # 65, watercolor painting

Moon Snail Shell # 66, pencil and watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 66, pencil and watercolor sketch