Not too long ago I woke from a half sleep to the sound of Paul Simon being interviewed. He spoke of the making of Graceland. Of the heartbeat of the land, the rhythm, the pulse, and the “beautiful empty”. My reverence for him unfolded, as the genius of how his mind works, how he feels, experiences places, and people…and life, came into focus for me. It has a pulse, and he, Mr. Simon, brings that cacophony of discord into harmony.
The beautiful empty is where it all starts. Before the beat sounds in his head, and in his heart, before the notes land on the page. It starts with the empty, the possibility, the promise of something beautiful to come. While I have never been musically inclined, this I can relate to, this has meaning to me. I have always most appreciated the time right after demolition. The slate is cleaned of distraction. Not literally of course, since there is nothing but debris and destruction and dust, but figuratively. It is at this time, when I can see most clearly the possibility of what’s to come, of how my little nest wants to be feathered.
The the chaos starts again. The materials are hauled into that little space. The saws, the men, and sometimes woman, who strip the floors, erect the walls, rewire, paint, build, create, and make new. It’s messy, and dirty, and exciting.
As I near the end of number four a tiny little part of me feels a tug of loss over its completion. I know it’s not rational, but I feel it nonetheless. I console myself with another part of the process that fills me with pride and excitement. My own beautiful empty. I’ve developed rituals throughout this process of mine, and one of them is sitting on the floor, in the middle of the space, observing all that I have accomplished. This second time of reflection of what’s to come before the furniture is selected, the accessories, the styling, the final finishes are put into place. Before the photographers come, and the documentation is in place…I allow myself to imagine, all that it still could become.
Now however could I do that if it was already cluttered with things? Empty is so full.