Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I have tears hovering at the tips of my eyelashes. They seem to want me to know that they are there for a reason, but they won't come out without a bit of coaxing - like my eight-year-old when he hides behind my favorite chair and lets out a tiny squeak to alert me that he wants me to retrieve him.
I feel like I did after my baby died and I was without a little one, when I felt the ache of empty arms. Those were the days when I longed to nurse a breathing child at my breast, to hear its gulps and coos, when I wanted to hold and to cuddle and to care for a teeny babe - my babe - and the wanting and longing burrowed its way deep inside and created a chasm within. A chasm that could only be filled with full arms, pink cheeks and a diapered bottom.
One day the chasm was filled.
Today I feel the same gaping hole, though this one didn't form from the same longing. This hunger has been birthed during my time in The Alone - in the internal terrain where every soul must travel in search of home. It seems the hours spent here have been chipping away at a stony core, like each drop of pain (whether it be from piercing or healing or both) has been carving away a deep, wide, open, ever-growing, empty space. And unlike the chasm that was carved in my unquenchable thirst for another child, I haven't been sure what or who to fill this one with.
I thought at first that what was forming was space for other, for lover, for a man. I wondered if the only way for it to be full was for the liquid essence - the inner waters - of another to be poured into it over time, through love, tenderness, intimacy and relationship.
But as I stood along the chasm's edges, peering over it and taking in the vastness and beauty of the space, I knew that the Sacred Empty was there for me - and me alone - to fill.
So I asked myself, "Is there enough of me to fill this part of myself? And if there is, how?"
I remembered back to times long gone by and times so recent that the dust is still on my feet, when I have quickly and easily and eagerly given myself away. I recalled my impulse to spread my treasures, my hard-earned polished bits, out on the table not because someone asked, but simply because I had them and I needed another to see them.
I realized that just as quickly as I have laid myself out, I can gather myself back, scoop those pieces toward me, and tuck them away into the Sacred Empty, to delight in, to celebrate, to revel over, and to fill me. I can stand next to what I have gathered and speak the words that only satisfy when they come from deep within. I can open my mouth and use my own voice to praise the good I see. I can do for myself what I have wanted for too long from another.
It isn't that I will tuck away my treasures and hoard them forever, never to share. For I know that just as surely as I need to be filled up, there will be a time to empty out. There will also be a time when the waters of another will pour into other parts of me, and I will be and feel filled. But even then, the Sacred Empty will remain. And even then, it will be mine to fill.
Already, it's a little less empty than when I found it.