Day 11: Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
The Buddhist concept of emptiness is called “Sunyata” in Sanskrit, which translates to “emptiness”. It refers to the understanding that all phenomena lack inherent or independent existence and are instead interdependent and interconnected.
This concept of emptiness is not about lacking or negativity but rather an infinite field of boundless potential. In Zen-inspired design, empty space is just as crucial as the painted elements, providing composition structure, balance, and definition.
In art, we call this negative or white space. I prefer white to negative.
The Power of White Space
White space holds as much importance as the rest of an artwork and gives a piece emphasis, balance, and even a touch of artistic charm. By embracing the power of white space, artists can bring a sense of harmony and aesthetic charm to their work.
OK, so taking inspiration from art, if I rewrite that last sentence for living, it would read like this:
By embracing the power of white space, people can bring a sense of harmony and charm to their lives.
Therefore, I wonder if by taking inspiration from art and Zen…what if we create the potential for harmony and contentment in our lives by creating white space in our day?
I say this because lately, I feel we’re lost in the noise of living. Well, I am, anyway.
And there is so much noise. I wonder if I’m adding to it by writing these daily posts, in fact?
I need a container of white empty space. Because amidst the busy schedules, stream of content, jobs to be done, the daily soundtrack of barking dogs, cars passing and drills firing, the quiet I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, is very hard to come by.
Perhaps it’s Spring. I feel the natural need to clear and declutter at this point in the year.
Perhaps it’s something more?
Perhaps it’s the busyness of life and getting older that I’m finding the need, more and more, for simplicity.
It’s why I draw in black and white. Flowers. Faces. Doodles. They are simple. Nature. The essence of life. Not over complicated.
And I relish white space. The empty space. The in-between moments. Silence and stillness between the next ‘thing’ to do. The next disturbance.
Yohaki no bi: The Beauty of Empty Space
I’ve recently discovered the Japanese Concept of Yohaku no bi: The Beauty of Empty Space.
“White spaces can be profoundly beautiful, full of mystery and promise, a reminder of the infinite potential that dwells within nature--and each of us.”
Yes! White space is a place of potential.
Oh Simple Thing Where Have You Gone?
“Oh Simple Thing Where Have You Gone? circles around my mind.
I’m getting older, I need something to rely on…
Until tomorrow, I leave you to ponder these thoughts with Keane…
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