Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Void

Oh, the obligatory first post. I'm having a flashback to my high school dancing days, where my dance teacher brought us into an empty theater and said, "this is an empty stage. How are you going to fill it?" It's an extremely complicated question for any artist, and I specifically remember staring at that stage and marveling at its size. The theater itself wasn't overly large, but the stage? In my mind, at the time, it was huge. How many bodies would it take to fill that stage? How would they have to move in such a way so that the stage was filled at all times? Ultimately, it was a trick question, as she was trying to get at a concept that is not easy for a high school student to grasp. When we began choreographing our own work, it became clear to me that sometimes a void is in fact, completely full.

Turning nothing into something is terrifying. As I sat down to write this, even before I was able to begin the first sentence, I convinced myself that this blog was a terrible idea. I am afraid, as I write this, that I will not be able to take this space, and turn it into something worthy of other people reading. I'm sure, that in 30 minutes I will have a philosophical crisis regarding what defines "worthy." All of this comes down to scrutiny. If I decide to turn this blank space into "something," that means it is subject to criticism. However, going back to the point my dance teacher was trying to make, it is possible that I don't need to be extremely profound in order to make a point. Empty space is deceiving because it is silently screaming to be filled. People usually try to fill it with something, because the unknown, or emptiness is very uncomfortable. 

When we move into a new house, we fill it with stuff. People's cubicles at work create mini shrines to their families. It appears that humans have this innate desire to create, to fill emptiness, even if others can see it. I think this drive to fill emptiness serves as a security blanket, and protects our self-esteem. Although terrifying, filling this void gives us an invisible pat on the back, so to speak, and makes us feel human, like we have a purpose.

In one of my Psychology classes last semester, we discussed "Terror Management Theory," which sounds completely fabricated due to its name, yet is related to this idea. It takes this thought a step further, and even says that people create because they are afraid of their own mortality. I urge you to read about it further here: Terror Management Theory

At this precise moment, I feel as though I'm entering a bad episode of The Twilight Zone. This blog is providing me with an unlimited about of blank space. What will I do with it all? I think the better question is, what will happen if I don't use it all? I think for now, I will do what I normally do when I have trouble filling this void. I will post a picture of my dog, Ella.

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