What do you see when you close your eyes?

ImageSo I got a new workshop for my genetic fractals. I felt that I needed a space away from my home office. I walked around it, sat on that silly bench and got stuck. What am I going to do with this?

Sure, it needs shelves, a work bench, an old radio perhaps, but these are just ‘things’. Will I actually get work done here? Will any of that be useful? Or will I abandon this one day and leave the mess behind?

The emptiness is daunting. How can it but not trigger a vivid and painful memory of handing over the keys of my last office. That was the closing scene of a dramatic venture following four years of corporate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A foundation that was pregnant with failure even before it was conceived. I came in, in the second act – all excited – pretending not to notice that my job was to clear the rubble and the bodies. Empty offices know these things and they whisper to you late at night.

But the uncluttered space is also an opportunity! Imagine all the things I can do here! I could do “great things”! I could organize friday afternoon drinks and we can sing and dance or laugh really loud. Or I can stay late, surf the web or write poetry!

Nature abhors a vacuum, as is said. Whenever we find an empty space in our life, it will always fill up before long.Β There is a bit of that in my life right now and I’m enjoying it. But it is also scary. What will fill the vacuum? Good things or tedious things? If the past is an indication, I shouldn’t worry – we have a choice, right? In fact, I have found that the best way to get out of a mind numbing situation is to create some empty space. Throw stuff out. Cancel meetings or stop seeing people we don’t actually like. Be bold and sell the house or quit from a job you hate.

But the biggest spaces to be concerned about are in our head. Do we even have a tiny little bit of emptiness in there or is it just an ocean on mindless to-do lists? Isn’t it amazing that we are able to contain the entire universe in our mind but that it is hard to find a few inches of silence?

Perhaps that is what bothers me about that empty workshop: it isn’t really empty. It is full of ideas, worries, opportunities, problems, good people and people that should leave. It is jam packed with the weight of a whole life. Looks like I have to some more clearing out before I can move in.

Perhaps that bench wasn’t such a stupid idea. Let me go and stare at brick wall for while.


13 thoughts on “What do you see when you close your eyes?

  1. An interesting read. I always wonder if people at other times in history had as much on their minds as we do. From doing meditation for a week at a time, in an environment that offered few modern distractions (like phones, TV, and an internet connection) I found that the brain fills itself with dreams and memories, music even. There always seems to be something going on and often, a few things at the same time. Still, an empty space seems like a good place to start! Good luck!

    1. I have often wondered the same thing. When my father worked in an office in the 60’s a single communication (via stenographer, typist, mailroom) and its response (same process) would take at least a week. Our emails exchange in minutes! What was it like to have time to consider an urgent matter? I can only think that people filled their minds with other trivialities, just as we do.

  2. Is that really your new office, or am i missing the metaphor?

    I don’t know where the idea came from, but when i need to perform a mental Spring Clean i buy a new watch.

    1. You are not missing the metaphor but the image is of a virtual office that I created. But as discussed before – does that make it less real? Will we all be working in such digital spaces in the future? I think we might. Well, my kids might πŸ™‚

      I love watches, they are the height of human achievement. Working in Switzerland as I do, we buy new watches for breakfast πŸ™‚

      1. Haha. It’s a dream of mine to start a serious time keeping collection. The tools of measurement fascinate me, and they’re so damn beautiful!

      2. They are amazing. I have been looking for a tangible device that I can use as a test case for fractal engineering. I had thought about a clock but dismissed it as boring. But a watch is a different ball game! Watch this space. Pun intended.

  3. They say it is good to empty one’s mind every once in a while .. I am not good at that.. Your writing makes me think as usual πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Paula – that’s exactly my ‘problem’. Think, think, think. I find that a combination of long walks in nature and meditation are an effective antidote. I’m sure that when you go out with your camera – you find mental quietude πŸ™‚

      1. Yes, how did you know? πŸ™‚ Long walks do help, and meditation is hardest to achieve when we most need it, don’t you think?

      2. Everyone has to find their own way in meditating, and be hopeful that they will find it. It also helps to know most of us are going through the same thing.

  4. “Isn’t it amazing that we are able to contain the entire universe in our mind but that it is hard to find a few inches of silence?”

    Where did you learn to write? Some of the things you say are profoundly poetic!

    1. Thank you for your comment – I have to admit that I occasionally surprise myself. Like many bloggers I have been writing for decades, it is compulsion more than art by design. Therefore anything that may sound poetic and interesting can be accredited to either statistical randomness or a hidden pathology πŸ™‚

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