I don’t know a writer of memoir who feels empty while writing. They experience myriad feelings, but emptiness isn’t among them. They are engaged in the very personal, willful, and soulful act of creating a true story from memory, which is incongruent with the definition of emptiness.
Lately, however, I see and hear the word empty all over the place. Empty has many meanings. Unfulfilled seems to cover a lot of ground, from empty emotions, empty pages, empty promises, empty pocket books, to empty buckets—buckets not filled with tears, since the river has gone dry.
When one woman said she felt so drained and empty, life was so meaningless after experiencing a great personal loss, she had no tears left to cry, I was filled with compassion. After expressing my concern towards her and suggesting she could seek comfort by writing about her loss, she wrote me saying a renewal of her spirit had taken hold, in unanticipated ways, as she sensed emptiness diminish through the energy of her thoughts and feelings as she wrote.
A writer friend recently wrote a blog post, in her inimitable way, saying her well was empty; she had no more words. Her prose so beautifully expressed her feelings that I was filled with awe. Surely, as she creatively filled that blank page with words, she proved to herself her well was not dry.
Empty is, in some disciplines, considered bliss. In other words, your mind must be empty to feel bliss. If bliss takes over is the emptiness filled?
If empty is a void is there still a desire or a mental, physical, or spiritual drive to fill it? Does emptiness carry with it the connotation of a need to be filled?
Let me know what you think.