Lately, life for me has been frothy. Bubbly. Light, buoyant, supple. Very much like whipped cream, like sea foam, like the head of a well-brewed beer or the topping on a really good cup of cappuccino. Not unpleasant. Not at all. Not lacking in a sense of stability or constancy. Simply filled with air. Ventilated. Feeling Holey.
Holes, of course, imply emptiness. Space. And maybe that’s what it is. Maybe it’s just a kind of spaciness that I’m feeling in everything these days. Not any big black hole of barrenness or meaninglessness. None of that struggling singer/songwriter stuff.
- What’s the difference between a puppy and a singer/songwriter?
A. Eventually, the puppy stops whining.
Holes, of course, ask questions and open the door to wonder, conjecture and speculation. When there’s an empty space, almost anything could fill it. Anything is possible. If nature truly abhors a vacuum (an aphorism I’ve always questioned, knowing that most of the universe is a vacuum), certainly my current personal nature has not been eager to fill these tiny holes too quickly. I like the way they feel. When anything is possible, I feel significantly invigorated.
Maybe it’s simply summertime and a shared sense – built in from years and years of 9-month school – that this is the empty time. The time when vacations happen and schedules dissolve. The period when timetables and calendars change their meaning. The season when people expect you to goof off and not be productive all the time.
Or perhaps, it’s that feathery delight I feel with my career which fills a daily chalice of deep satisfaction and at the same time requires delightfully few unalterable agendas. Did I mention that I love my job?
- Since the word from which we get “spirit” is the Latin spiritus, which literally means “breath;” then, perhaps the foamier and sudsier we get – the more filled with air we become – the more animated, sensitive and vital we turn out to be. Maybe.
In any event, I’d rather be filled with sea foam than concrete. I’d rather be permeated with the lightness and flexibility (not to mention sweetness) of whipped cream rather than the weight and rigidity of steel rebar. I’d rather live with infinite possibility than with a nailed-down, unbending understanding of the way life works.
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of pleasure, love, joy, beauty and sexual rapture. The story is that she was born in sea foam formed from the castrated genitals of the sky god, Uranus. Not the most elegant of images. The word, Aphrodite, literally means “foam born.” So, born of sea foam, she was then borne by the sea to the assembly of the gods and thereby to the enhancement of humankind.
I know, I know, it’s just a myth. But perhaps those ancient olive and anchovy munchers were on to something. Think about it. Pleasure, love, joy, beauty and sex ain’t gonna arrive on a pallet in the back of an 18-wheeler. Those little wonders don’t need a forklift to move them around. No, those remarkably delightful attributes which make life worth the ride, can be carried on the wind. Gifts of the gods and goddesses they are. Gifts of the spirit. Of breath.
So, what say we go for a foam and frothy summer? It may be one of the most spiritual things we can do.