The Void

A while ago I had a small epiphany about the void as a fundamental creative force. I was thinking about my long term employed status versus some of the entrepreneurial enterprises I am involved in.

The place where I work would probably have to called a small to medium sized business; not huge but not ‘mom and pop’ either, probably about 80 employees in two locations. The business literally started in the owners garage. After a few jobs that didn’t work out and a few joint ventures that fell apart, the owner figured ‘Well, I can’t do any worse than these other guys’ and set out on his own.

Because that business has survived since, I’ve had a steady paycheck and a short commute for several years. My boss had a void to fill, I haven’t.

My martial arts instructor has a similar story. The martial arts school he started out in ended up closing amidst scandal – the certificates even turned out to be fake. He went to extraordinary measures to complete his black belt, and then floated around for a while, eventually coming to a series of teaching positions that got organized under the name his own school. If his original school had been stayed open, I might be training there instead, and the Academy of Hosinsul would never exist.

In the marital arts themselves, the void shows up. If you want to put someone on the ground, you often need to make a place for him to fall. A hole in one’s defenses could be described as a void as well.

Years ago, I did a lot of things to fill the void – programming and game design mainly. Now, my life is rather full, and these interests compete with myriad other pursuits.

One Comment

  1. schwartzboy says:

    Well, nature does abhor a vacuum. I think that, while it does inspire creativity in some, the void might be more aptly described as a motivator. Certainly, many people have been inspired to creativity by the presence of a void in one area of their lives or another, but for every person like your boss or your martial arts instructor there are dozens more who fill their various voids with television, their drug of choice, or yelling at their kids. If you’ve got the right raw materials and a certain…spark, I suppose?…to begin with, then the void is certainly an excellent catalyst for a new business venture, a game, a novel, or any one of the countless creative pursuits that we can be proud of. Without that spark, though, and possibly the with exception of those who are able to comfortably embrace the idea of nothingness, I suspect that the void can be one of the most banal and wholly depressing things in the catalog of human experience.

    Well, excepting tax audits and sitting at the DMV, anyway.