The Hole vs. Maybe a Gap in the Smoothie

I was terrified of the hole, and did whatever I thought would keep it from manifesting.

...the empty feeling when a loved one is gone; when your relationship still feels empty; when you finally get the thing you always wanted but it doesn't feel like your dream.

These losses are each very different, but there's a unifying thread. I've felt "the hole" when there was absolutely nothing wrong or different in my life. That tells me it's not always situational. And it's not always gnawing. Psychological or biological, it's real and part of the sum total of Me.

Maybe I shouldn't think of it as something that needs fixing, a literal hole, but a space - and here's the thing:

Nothing is really empty. An empty room has things in it: sunlight, air, dust, energy. The University of Konstanz is home to ground-breaking science on what's really in a vacuum - they call it a Traffic Jam in Empty Space.

That empty space within us also contains things we are unable to measure at this time.

I'm making a veggie smoothie and letting Dan Siegel's The Wheel of Awareness video roll through my brain -- I'm not suggesting you jump ahead, but around 15:44, mid-talk about awareness of mental activities, you'll hear:  
"...what does the gap feel like between two mental activities?"
As I taste my smoothie, I think there's something missing, some flavour that would improve the overall product, and I hear myself - what does the gap feel like? I start thinking about that void between the connections one taste has with the next, about the value of holding space in my palate.

Maybe there's something in that gap after all, yeah? Maybe the space it holds is vital to the connection between celery and galangal. Definitely the flavor will be different, possibly overpowering, if you add something to the space. Lots of mistakes to be made trying to cover up emptiness. Maybe I should get used to the space being there - no, not tolerate, but support. Stop trying to make it match what I already know. Appreciate its existence.

Bridges have gaps - without them they'd be unable to hold up traffic from one side of the water to the next. People who are no longer with us are not replaceable - a gap is made of the space where you held them, and their words, smells, preferences are still in there, just in different form. When you find a piece of furniture you love (if you're me, it's next to a dumpster) you'll bring it home - and it will need some emptiness to get comfortable. Same with new friends - you can't leave them standing outside while you push things around. Let the space be there. You don't know what you need it for yet.

So I'm observing any emptiness I encounter in my life: a feeling, a bit of free time, a recipe that seems like something's off. Instead of rushing to fill that emptiness, I'm observing it, sitting with it, listening into it - to see what might be in there.

If you find you cannot manage your gap alone, talk to someone. Get a medical professional involved, in case there's an underlying deficiency that needs something more than observation. Respect yourself that way.

Further Reading:

Some history on the study of Vacuum Fluctuations
Please envision science as its own physical entity - something growing,  undulating, encompassing spacetime.

What's the Difference between Ginger and Galangal?
Now you'll know, too.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
Yeah, no. I'm not an expert in physics. As I chase down all my favorite rabbit holes, though, I keep coming to this warren. Obviously it needs to be identifiable if you run across it.

Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Unrelated, or maybe not...yeah? This tab was open on my desktop, pursuant to some other conversation on social media, so here it is. What's the weirdest tab you have open right now?


  1. Carmen Sandiego. "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" That was a favorite game many years ago. Running in the background/foreground are notifications on Facebook, my ongoing game "Cradle of Empires," cat-howling, (When he isn't peacefully curled up on the floor beside me.) the movements of MSOM as he makes the noises that mean he is part of my hemisphere, and the peaches that sit on the counter, waiting for me to peel and prepare them. Background noise ongoing -- the crickets that buzz in my ears, 24/7, which cannot be ignored like the cat, but cannot be allowed to monopolize my attention. Next week THEY will be my constant as I adjust to being in a different place. It is my life.

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