I look into my mind, and my mind is empty. In fact, it’s full of all kinds of useless crap and clutter. It’s full of anxiety about things done and left undone. There’s pretty much a cacophony of garbage filling in every nook and cranny. But for the purposes of creative output, my mind is empty. I cannot lift a guitar, no less a pen, to write a song. I cannot type out the simplest of poems. I cannot devise a creative computer programming project that would hold my interest or serve to bring something useful into this world. No it is empty.
Where are all the little colorful lego bricks that I should be picking up and snapping together to create something beautiful? Where are the sheets of empty paper and nice, fine tipped pen? Who took away the heavy construction paper, glitter and glue? Did it all get thrown away by accident, or worse, on purpose?
I look into my mind, and my mind is empty. And it’s not a good, mindful, zen emptiness. It’s a clunky, stuttering, worthless emptiness. It’s a full lack of anything to say, or anything to say anything about. My mind is an endlessly blinking cursor, with no characters trailing behind it. Just stuck, at the top left of an ephemeral empty page. But the emptiness of mind is not ephemeral. No, it persists from day to day.
There is a cognitive theory that every thought is tied, in some way, to an emotion. Memories especially are recalled precisely because they have some emotional significance attached to them. What is my emotion when I reveal my empty mind? It’s one of a resigned sadness, a feeling that this must be the way it has to be and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I look into my mind, and my mind is empty. There is no salvation from this null state. There is no way to bootstrap a creative emotion or thought from the broad nothingness that exists in my mind. I cannot write my way into, or out of, any corners. I cannot sing my way into a musical revelation. I cannot paint the double line on the highway to a fully working, healthy mind.
But this is not depression. It’s anxiety somewhat. But it’s not a desperation or loneliness or sadness or something of that variety. These feelings are certainly present to one degree or another upon reflection on my empty mind. They are not it’s cause.
I look into my mind, and my mind is empty. Except for when it’s not.