I stare at them, through them, to the back wall of them.
Book shelves. Eight feet high. Twelve shelves. Times two.
On the left – the clutter of a life. My life – Pictures, books, pop-culture junk I’ve thrown money away on through the years.
Life artifacts that collect dust. They mean nothing to the observer. Much to the possessor.
On the right.
The air thick of pressed wood.
I believed someone else’s life would spill over to that side.
A fill and compliment to mine.
The perfect mash-up of imperfect.
Souvenirs of two lives brought together.
A mix of sordid pasts, peaceful presents and galvanized futures.
They haunt me.
The screws holding them together have bright-beady eyes. Each brass round traces my steps.
I pass them on the way to the bathroom. I can’t help but stop and notice the strange irregularity, the irony of.
Full vs. empty.
My dog Rosie’s tiny head smashes into the back of my legs every time. She never anticipates a full-on brake mid-step.
They were trying to tell me something.
Shelf grids like brown gaping teeth. Sending messages. Always sending messages I couldn’t understand.
Was I losing it?
I see signs in everything.
Maybe it is a tumor. I joke about that tumor. Maybe it’s real this time.
What were shelves trying to say?
I finally figured it out.
Since four years old, passages have had a way of altering the colors of my world.
As I pivot from one point of life to the next, colors around me change. Well, not literally, but my viewfinder, my perception filter adjusts.
I’m not smart enough to think of it beyond how I did decades ago.
As I add smoky gray to the prism, I see clearer the sparks from shiny eye screws.
Piercing through darkness.
With painful sharpness.
“We’ve been waiting.”
There’s a message in everything. Just listen. The gaping universe of empty shelves was trying to get my attention. The message in the emptiness was clear in hindsight but I overlooked it. The shelves were telling me something was off in my life. I wasn’t listening.
I needed to correct an imbalance.
The only way to populate shelves is to bask in the stillness of them. Bask in the beauty of the emptiness first.
Oh, I stopped enough (Rosie’s cranium knows) but lost focus. I guess I wasn’t ready for the lesson until I was ready?
As I finished this line an e-mail, a present moment reminder, arrived from Eckhart Tolle.
Coincidence? I say NO.
“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something new into the world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”
Be aware of your environment. Never lose sight of the beauty. Even in the empty you will ostensibly flourish.
What part of yourself will you place on a shelf? For how long? A thought, a wish, a desire. Can you dust off a memory and add life to it again?
I think so.
Love never dies. It’s just up on a shelf and dormant until you breathe spirit into it again.
Live fully your themes. Goals are too much like heat-seeking bullets. They find you and hurt. Whether they hit or miss you lose. Accomplish a goal you immediately set another. You enjoy it for a second and anguish over the next one. If you fail, you feel like a fail. Goals are no-win for the creator.
Themes are billowing sails, full wind, moving water. The wind in your eyes. Themes are the rides. Adult Disneyland. You can travel along multiple themes and accomplish a step every day. Feel good about the journey. Bask in the sun on your face.
As a theme, empty shelves now speak words of comfort. Messages of hope.
There’s no fear in the space.
I know they’ll be good things to fill them.
Or maybe I’ll take a hammer to them.
Break them down.
You always get a chance to start again. As long as you can patch walls, find materials.
You always have the chance.
Through the empty space is the path.
To a well-stacked life.
Rich with the air that money can’t buy.
Through the empty is the ride of your life…