Horror vacui

I am going to use the expression horror vacui out of context in this piece. I am using it not to talk about art (in art, horror vacui is the filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail) but to expand a little the consideration about emptiness which I started last week, with the post about empty days.

In that post, I suggested that in the past I tried more than one strategy to avoid the unproductiveness of my empty days and I told that none of those strategies worked. It is true. I tried to use strategies to deal with procrastination and they did not work. I tried to split the tasks into many micro-tasks and it did not work. I tried to set very short periods of time to work and then have a lot of super small breaks and it did not work. I tried to get rid of distractions and it did not work. I tried to listen to music while working and it did not work… well, at least I enjoyed my time singing along.

When it’s time to work, I work. Even if I am not particularly inspired. Even if I am tired. Even if I am hungry. Even If my husband is finally home and I’d really like more to snuggle him than to sit and work. When it’s an emptiness moment, it could be the perfect day to work and not a word or a single stroke would come out.

As I said I was going to do last week, today I stopped my attempts to change an emptiness moment in a productive one and tried to enjoy it, browsing the Internet in search of pure silly entertainment. It worked partially.  On the first hand, being fully aware of what I was doing was somehow reassuring, even if I felt a little guilty. On the other hand, it felt like when social media gets the good grip on you, your sense of time disappears, and you mind sinks in an infinite stream of Facebook comments, one dumber than the other. In the end, my empty morning was useful, because after that I was ready to start to work but I strongly suspect that my morning was not empty enough.

And that’s here that the expression horror vacui plays its part for me. The idea of doing absolute nothing scares me. The week has just started and I’ve already filled all the planner because I fear empty unorganised spaces. I know that I told here about my attempts at practising guided meditation. I still do it and I still love it. But doing nothing all on my own scares me. Will I fell too guilty? Will it be really useful? Will it take too much time? Will I fall asleep?

I don’t know, but I think I am going to find out anyway. And you? Have you tried doing really nothing? Have you ever need to do such a thing? In the meanwhile, thank you for your precious time.

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5 thoughts on “Horror vacui

  1. Stuart McEwan - Forged From Reverie says:

    Personally I think I am becoming addicted to the feeling of accomplishment. If an hour goes by that I feel I have wasted, it upsets me far more than it probably should. However, you are right. Learning to appreciate the smaller, unexpected moments for what they are rather than what we want them to be is something I will aspire to more.

    Well done.

  2. Nina Trema says:

    Hi, Stuart 🙂 I am a control freak in recovery, so I can relate to your feeling towards unproductive/wasted moments. Letting go it’s not easy, sometimes it feels like the wrongest thing you can do and you can’t believe that doing it will make you any good. Thank you for sharing your experience. Have a terrific day 🙂

  3. katreenapillejera says:

    Hello 🙂 We used to follow each other! But I deleted my old blog site (dreamkatcherblog.wordpress.com) and migrated my posts to a new domain (I just bought it the other day hihi). It’s now loveafterlove.net 🙂 I’m visiting all of the authors I have followed before and give everyone a notice. I hope to maintain the connection. Have a nice day!

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