light in the darkness


*And no, my post is not on ‘vacuum cleaner’ – (which works on the vacuum principle but pardon me if I don’t go any further on this).

This morning driving home from teaching reading for pupils (for those who need assistance) at a primary school, I was going through in my head about words beginning with “V” followed by a e i o u. I thought variously of ‘vacillate’; ‘vexation’; ‘vicarious violence’; ‘voice’; ‘vulture’. I felt in a vacuum, vacuously wondering –

And while driving, I realised that a vacuum may occur when the A-Z is over. 

Natura vacuum abhorret. Nature abhors a vacuum. I may find myself living in an existential vacuum at least for a while. Not for a moment will I have nothing to do; all those many other activities that have been neglected will come to the fore; packing to move into the townhouse (vacating our 26 years here in our lovely old home); maybe vacuum packing precious glassware; my own writing and much more. Maybe I’ll be able to provide a decent supper for my hard working husband on the odd occasion – veal as a treat?

‘Vacuum’ is defined as a region of space in which there is no matter, there is nothing.

Viktor Frankl writes on the ‘existential vacuum’. He posits that when we as individuals sense a vacuum in our lives, we ensure that we have stuff to do to fill it up which will provide ‘satisfaction’. Anything that keeps that vacuum-filled feeling at bay, an emptiness within, a sense of futility, we will find a way to fill it. We know in what way we fill it. A compulsion to passivity e.g.TV where violence real or otherwise is played out on the screen and from which we derive a vicarious pleasure because it is not us; conformity from a fear of being just ourselves; over eating. We vacuum up everything we can. We suck it up, faster, better, brighter. In some societies, where the government of the day is not fulfilling their promises to the population, people may find themselves living in a vacuum where nothing is happening. They may align themselves to a fundamental sect, right or left, to give their lives meaning, thus filling the vacuum.

Naomi Klein: ‘Politics hates a vacuum. If it isn’t filled with hope, someone will fill it with fear.’

Desmond Tutu our own recent past Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner: ‘I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum’.

I often find myself in a vacuum when I try to create with words. My mind feels vacuum-filled. I imagine others who create with different media e.g. paint, canvas, chisel, block, film feel similarly. The screen or canvas or the instruments remain motionless and nothing comes.

Yet, somehow the voice comes and out of the nothing all is contained.

*Sophia Loren: Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.

37 Comments on V: VACUUM

  1. What a thoughtfully written post! Almost 2000 people all over the world will feel a vacuum in May.

  2. I’m hoping that the challenge will help me continue writing every day now that I’ve gotten into the habit of it again. It has broken my writer’s block which I’m grateful for. Some days it takes longer than others but making the commitment to do this has made a difference. This is my third year and for the first time, I feel as though the daily writing has really become part of the routine and not just something to slog through. I know I’ll have rough days in which the words just will not want to come but I am very hopeful! Great post.

    • It’s been a good habit hasn’t it! For me too – hopefully it’s broken the block. Good luck and thank you Tracy for stopping by.

  3. When we think about our own vacuum, is perception reality? How many people think there is a vacuum there but don’t recognize the important things that fill their lives, and how many people deceive themselves by filling the vacuum with trivial things? Or is whether the things are important or trivial up to the person?

    • Well, Jer, that is the BIG question, is perception reality. Yes, I think so .. on many levels maybe not all. And that is an important consideration too as to whether we recognise what we actually have in our lives. All your questions are important thank you.

  4. Sadness fills me when I think of this challenge being over, but that is intermittently replaced by the happy thought of the new blogs I’ve found to follow. So I’m hoping the vacuum won’t last long. I also want participate in the reflections blog they will have for all of us to share our thoughts and feelings about doing the challenge this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of all of this.

  5. I really thought you were going to write about vacuum cleaners – you tricked my simple mind. Hope the vacuum doesn’t happen and you continue to update your blog 🙂

  6. Well done, and ever so true. I shall vacillate between various projects when the blog challenge vacates my calendar, only to vilify other variant duties which require vigorous vetting prior to assuming a more vigilant stance on verse!

  7. Nice post. Also thought it may have been about vacuuming a house, but this was more interesting lol.

  8. Funny, that… while I was waiting for the page to load I was thinking it was nearly over, and I’d have some spare time at last. That was quickly followed by… to launch the new book, the Talent Seekers, to do my Reflections post, to prepare for Children’s Book Week and my Giveaway in the Kid Lit Hop, to read & review the new books by SW Lothian and Scott Clements, to finish reading Dead Letter Day, and that’s all just for May!
    No time for vacuuming – again!
    Jemima at Jemima’s blog

  9. Thanks Brandy for stopping by! Good luck on being a vacuum when your MA starts for sucking up all the info you need to!
    It’s going on 10 p.m. here and I am off to bed so I will check your V for volunteering in the morning.

  10. I am hoping my mind will be a bottomless vacuum when I start my MA. I need all the help sucking up the vast amounts of knowledge that I can get!

    As for my V post, yes, it’s coming. It’s about 3:00 p.m. where I am right now. I’ll likely post it later tonight. It’ll be V for Volunteering.

    Please do check out my Botswana posts when you have some time – maybe after A-Z and your move!

    Cheers, Brandy from http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

  11. I agree about the end of A-Z vacuum. I intend to fill it with finishing the book. One of the aspects of the A-Z that I found most useful was the second/third/fourth edit I did on the extracts. This exercise has had me going over my story again with a very critical eye…

    • Thank you Francene. At least there will not be a hole now where the tree is. And thank you for your warm wishes re: the imminent move and for writing!

  12. I’m chuckling at the comments that were left previously to me. Some how I would have been surprised if you had lectured me about vacuuming my home. Fortunately, I was correct. Instead you spoke of the void in my life and how I am attempting to fill it. You will be happy to learn that I don’t turn toward the TV, as partly with my terrible hearing, I can’t understand what is being said on the TV. But more importantly, I need real, live people in my life… and thus the vacuum. So I walk my laps through town talking to anyone I can trap, or the shopkeepers, or the dog owners… heck, I’ll even talk to the seagulls flying over my head.

    With so much life around me… how can there also be a vacuum? Goodness, you have my brain going again! 😉 As always, I LOVE your posts.

    • O Gwynn you do make me smile 🙂 All must be so pleased to have a happy person walking about, talking and chatting! The seagulls must get a kick out of having a human greet them! (Watch out for their reply though). ‘Void’ is a lovely word, I’m glad you used it. I was thinking of using it, but somehow I avoided it …

      Have you done your vacuuming today? – I’m talking about the spaghetti.

      Thank you for stopping by – 🙂 – I appreciate this!

  13. How occupying this must have been, to hold the vacuum and fill it for all the alphabet. What a personal challenge and how you have drawn us in with intrigue about what the next letter will bring. Thank you.

    • Thank you Susan, I really appreciate your comment. I am so pleased that it has held intrigue for you! It has been occupying my time for sure – was it filling a vacuum I now have to ask myself? I will have to ponder that question I think.

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