“You’re a depressed girl,” I hear muttered in the back of my mind as I go for my morning tea. Perhaps I am that, but what I really am right now is tired. I’ve been going and going and going and holding it together for so long now. Not just the year and some since my divorce. No, I’ve been holding it together a lot longer than that. MUCH longer. And i’m tired. I’d quit if I knew how to do that, but I don’t. I haven’t even got a clue what that looks like. I do , however know how to let go. SO that’s what I’m doing. Letting go. Letting the river take everything, all of it, all of me. Letting the river hollow me out, polish my rough edges, clear away the debris of lifetimes until there’s nothing left. Hollow. Empty.
Yes, empty. Empty is good. Empty can be filled. We think of being empty as this awful, sad thing. It often is if you’re not truly empty, if there’s still old clinging to the sides, or chock full in the middle leaving no room for the water to flow. A hollow log likely does not feel sad about its emptiness, nor does a glass or vase. The things that belong there, however temporarily, would find no room for themselves if those things were not empty. A canoe is itself because the log was first made empty. A jar holds beans because it was first made empty. A lot of our favored dishes require the vessel to first be made empty. Think how yummy stuffed mushrooms or tomatoes or bell peppers are, adding their own special flavors to the mix of whatever else we stuff them with. Empty does not necessarily mean no longer itself. The empty thing must remain itself in order to function as it should.
And this is where I find myself: empty. Waiting to be filled with whatever is next. I can not keep gong as I am, so I must be emptied. I must allow the river to be my strength, to fill and overflow me, hollow me out until I am ready to be filled again. I touch myself and it is as though I feel through mittens. I feel me as one touching someone vaguely familiar, but mostly unknown. This is supposedly my face and I feel the sensation but I am somehow not inhabiting either the hands that are touching nor the face being touched. I awaken and see the world through eyes that feel borrowed. Who I borrowed them fro and why I have no idea. Oh, that’s right! I borrowed them from myself! They are mine! But somehow that information feels irrelevant. In fact, all previously important information feels irrelevant. I keep feeling nudges telling me things are not only not what they seem, but what I used to give so much importance is no longer relevant. “EEK! The world is falling apart!” I hear from so many places. “Let it. It all must fall away. Do not try to save it, love.” “But people will be hurt!” “Yes, Beloved. Sometimes birth hurts. Alleviate pain where you can, but don’t bother trying to save or stop anything. That is not yours to do and you couldn’t even if you wanted to.”
Sigh. Surrender. Give myself to the river. Allow myself to be hollowed, hallowed, emptied. DO my work. Work is holy, I remind myself, even if it’s work I don’t much care for. Then rest. Rest is holy even when I feel like I should be doing something else, something more than the nothing of resting. I am being hollowed, emptied. In this I am doing my work. I’d like to say I’ll arise stronger from the ashes, the remains of whatever I was, but I am informed that is irrelevant, though it is what people expect to hear, want desperately to hear. But I will not. I will say no such thing. I am told I will have no need of strength. It will be unnecessary baggage should I choose to hold on to it. Yes, I can choose to keep it; I can choose to keep anything I like, but not everything is useful. I am being guided in the packing of my satchel. My burdens are burdensome because they are no longer useful and are better left behind. “Fairies travel light!” I hear with a giggle. So I trust. And surrender. And will likely emerge a small, fragile thing of beauty not meant to be handled roughly. Soft, impossibly beautiful and sparkling. Resilient, yes, but not strong. Full of the river’s waters. And I am to offer you a drink from my cupped hands.