Advent 2014: Emptiness


The day is almost over. What a mercy it is that it's only 24 hours before starting over, not 48, 72, or even 25.

Yancey is at work, kids are in bed, dog's been walked, and I feel empty, like I gave everything there was to give today. 

It was highs and lows, like most days are. I got my first Christmas card in the mail and cleaned up a big unmentionable dog mess. Received a few sweet texts from friends and had to pay a speeding ticket. Said "I love you" to my children and husband and noticed Wyatt's toe is infected and am plotting how to get him to the doctor tomorrow. Went on a walk with a dear friend and teared up at her sad news. Made and dropped off dinner for another friend and had searing back pain all day.

Maybe my very favorite lines of poetry in the world are from Denise Levertov's The Tide:

Clean the littered beach, clear
the lines of a forming poem,
the waters flood inward.
Dull stones again fulfil
their glowing destines, and emptiness
is a cup, and holds
the ocean. 

Like hibernation before birth, emptiness comes before fullness. Until I feel my own emptiness, my own depletion, there won't be room in my cup for the filling. And even at the end of today, I know I'd rather take the constant emptying and filling--the tide going in and out--than stagnation. I'm sure I'll ride the waves again tomorrow--it will be a privilege. As Joanna Macy says, "You're alive! Dial up the magic of that!