Expressing the Inner Void

Once in a while, stringing together a sequence of coherent words is like pulling teeth.

Other times, it’s like navigating a pitch black void. Each word is a step forward, but you can’t see where you’re going. Oh, and you’re on a tightrope above a tank of sharks with laser beams on their heads.

Sometimes, it’s like pulling teeth while traversing a pitch black void.

Pulling teeth is not so bad, when you’re just hardcore about it. To this day, there’s a string hanging from the knob of my grandma’s door to her upstairs. When I was a kid, that string was tied around one of my teeth. The other end to the knob. Someone slammed the door, and that tooth was out of my mouth like drunk teenagers clearing a party when the police show up.

Pitch black voids are all right, too. Sensory deprivation tanks are fascinating.

Pitch black voids can be terrifying too, though.

One of the scariest recurring dreams I’ve ever had, which resulted in night terrors (for me, that meant running around the house in a half-conscious trance, feeling overwhelmed and dominated by complicated waves of pure dread) for me as a child and teenager, involved time and space being obliterated by a total void of nothingness.

The only near-coherent thought I had in my trance was, “Right now doesn’t exist, nothing ever existed, I don’t exist; if time is eradicated, then nothing humans have ever done will have ever happened and these thoughts themselves can’t even exist.”

Then I looked at my cat, Sherbet, someone I loved with all my heart. But in my timeless delirium, he didn’t exist. ’Twas a bummer.

The only somewhat satisfactory way I ever came up with to describe the urgency and dread from those dreams of nothingness, is to imagine discovering an active time-bomb when going through your normal routine. By the time you process that it’s a bomb, there are only three seconds until detonation. What do you feel during those final three seconds?

But seriously, pitch black voids aren’t all that bad.

The void is where potential comes from. Everything that’s something was once nothing.

That’s what stringing together a coherent sequence of words is all about. Taking the void within, and giving it form. Making sense of the abstract, giving it texture and meaning.

Because really, everything is meaningless, until you decide the meaning. You’re the interpreter of your own inner void. You’re the artist of your own potentiality.

Sometimes you won’t know a damn thing, until you just jump in and use your words and hope for the best. Sometimes, silence is better.

But make no mistake. The endless void wants to be expressed. That’s why we’re here.


Originally published at Andrew L. Hicks.