Positive groundlessness

By Nicholas Hooper

‘Positive groundlessness,’ she said.

‘Big sky,’ she said.

And I nearly missed it, and I nearly got it, but only nearly.

The elusive teacher crops up like a pixie, eyes glinting, smiling for ever. She knows something, I suspect. But this positive groundlessness makes me anxious – nothing to hold onto, no piece of music, no vision of light, no story. Just breath and sky. It makes me think of being over a void. Of nothingness. I rush to the edge of the universe and find… nothing. And she says that’s good, oh she never said the word ‘good’, I did. But she says it’s a positive experience even when it seems scary and unsettling. I remember the book I wrote, ‘Above the Void’ and the sequence of the two sides of my heroine walking over the void supported by many, many hands. Trusting. Perhaps we must be scared like that to find true trust. I think back to yesterday when I was at a school leavers occasion experiencing the intense emotion felt by pupils, teachers, parents and all around me – a glinting tear in my eye. And suddenly I felt wordless, empty of opinion, and it worried me. ‘Am I cold?’ I asked. ‘Heartless?’ But maybe this was positive groundlessness. Maybe…?



About Dawnings:
“Every morning at around 5am I get up and go down to my studio. After a short meditation I write down whatever is in my head, giving myself fifteen minutes to do so. Then moving over to the piano (or a more portable instrument like my Ukulele when I'm away), I improvise and record a piece of music inspired by whatever words I just wrote. It is a great way of keeping both my writing and my composing going and I call these small creations Dawnings. They are mostly unedited, like sketches, so that they keep that fresh feeling of an early morning discovery.”

— Nick Hooper