Last night I went out and bought some school supplies, with the excuse that I had a rebate coupon that was about to expire and that I had some project planning to do and needed those supplies. Truth be told, I could feel summer drawing to a close and the world gearing up to go back to school and, well, I felt left out. I have spent a lot of years of my life in one kind of school or another and the tug of the approaching start of class was just too strong on my psyche to resist. I have joked that I might need a 12-step group to help me break the habit, but so far I have not enrolled in any formal education setting for the fall. And, since I have no children of my own, I spent my rebate coupon on children in El Salvador, buying supplies to send on our upcoming mission trip to visit sister churches there.
But truth be told, what I am really feeling right now is a great big void where “getting ready for school/class/whatever” always sat, and I don’t really know what to do with that space. And another truth — the void is bigger than the lack of school registration might provide. I desperately want to fill the emptiness with a project or an activity or maybe even another trip (although I think maybe I’ve had enough of those for a little while), but I just don’t seem to be able to move to erase it. I have music to learn, I have papers to complete, I have a million things to do…but it all seems like just so much busy work, like work I would only take up to stop myself from looking into the emptiness.
I can’t seem to tear myself away the void; and I can’t seem to bring myself to fill it. It doesn’t frighten me, it doesn’t seem that the void shouldn’t be there. But I just can’t stop looking.
Over the past year, since the last time I had that “old back-to-school feeling”, I’ve had a lot of fits and starts, I’ve tried a lot of things, I’ve examined and re-examined my motives and my choices and my calling and, well anything that I could think of to re-examine.
And, so here I sit. Oh, I’m not really just sitting: the truth is my body and my intellect are going through the usual get-ready-for-fall activities: I’ve cleaned out the untouched piles of papers on my desk, I’ve begun getting the music for all my projects organized and ready for the “learning” process; I’ve sent out things to be repaired and taken a review of my fall wardrobe….all the things I would normally do. And yes, I even bought some new pens and pencils. But all that activity has been secondary — it sits somewhere on the far edge of my consciousness. And, I just keep feeling and seeing that void.
So, is it possible, that there are times in our lives, when are called to do nothing? It seems that might be true. I guess if it isn’t, I’ll find out soon…