Chapter 10: I Am the Sea You Are Seeking
The third question:
When I am writing a book, I am full of flowing energy and delight. But, when I have finished, I am so empty and dead that I can hardly bear to live. Now I am just starting to write, but though I can get into the pleasure while I am working, during the meditations I get overwhelmed with fear of the emptiness which I expect months from now.
This is from Pankaja; she is a novelist. I have gone through her novels, and they are beautiful. She has the knack of it: how to tell a story beautifully, how to weave a story. And this experience is not only hers, it is of almost everybody who is in any way creative. But still, the interpretation is wrong, and much depends on the interpretation.
When a woman carries a child, she is full. Of course, when the child is born, she will feel empty. She will miss the new life that was throbbing and kicking in her womb. The child has gone out; she will feel empty for a few days. But she can love the child, and she can forget her emptiness in loving the child and helping the child to grow. For an artist, even that is not possible. You paint, or you write a poem or a novel; once it is finished you feel deep emptiness. And what can you do with the book now? So the artist is in an even more difficult situation than a mother. Once a book is finished, it is finished. Now it needs no help, no love; it is not going to grow. It is perfect, it is born grown-up. A painting is finished, it is finished. an artist feels very empty. But, one has to look into this emptiness. Don’t say that you are exhausted; rather, say that you are spent. Don’t say that you are empty, because each emptiness also has a fullness in it. You are looking from the wrong end.
You come into a room: there is furniture, pictures on the walls and things. Then those things and the pictures are removed and you come into the room: now what will you say? Will you call it empty, or will you call it a full room? Room means emptiness; room means space. With the furniture removed, the room is full. When furniture was there the room was not full; much of it was missing because of the furniture. Now the room is complete, the emptiness is total.