Thursday 11 April 2013

The Empty Room by Angel Young

Sometimes the room is just empty. Uninhabited. And uninhabited for some time. Above is a photo I took in the Yukon, at Fork Selkirk. We had been canoeing for days already and there were still many ahead of us.

The action of canoeing everyday really pares everything down. There is paddling, making camp, making fire, preparing food, eating, sleeping, striking camp, and paddling. Don't get me wrong there is beauty and wildlife and fresh air and lots of good things, but basically everything boils down to the basics. There is not the energy to write a journal, nor read a book and there's no broadband or phone signal out there in the wilderness. But the space was restoring in some way. It ordered my thoughts, even though I was unaware of it. It settled my always upset tummy. My health improved (in spite of my high chocolate consumption). It restored my soul.

And with creativity it's the same. It's an empty room. It's an awe-inspiring trip which is also exhausting. Creativity needs periods of no productivity. This informs the other times. After I finished my Art MA, I literally did no art at all for 2 years. I had given everything and it was time to focus on resting - on refilling the room.

So if your room is empty, go with it. Let it be. Stop fighting your natural fallow season. There may be nothing happening on the surface but the dust motes are settling, the room is breathing, exhaling. And that's ok. When you are ready your creativity will, of course, return.

Angel lives in the UK and is looking forward to warmer days.


  1. thank you for this beautiful post...

  2. It seems like once a week I need a day to do absolutely nothing. At first I resisted this, but in our Circe's Circle we talked about the importance of what we started to call "couch time". A day to relax. It seems that Friday has become my couch time and when I need it, I take it and enjoy it. The difference is now I realize how important that time is for my well being.