Yet ma is not a mere emptiness or opening; through and in it shines a light, and the function of this ma becomes precisely to let that light shine through. A literary example of this image can be found in the twelfth-century novel, The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki: "It was the fifteenth night of the eighth month. The light of an enclouded full-moon shone between the ill-fitting planks of the roof and flooded the room. What a queer place to be lying in!, thought Genji, as he gazed around the garret, so different from any room he had ever known before."
"This negative space/time is therefore anything but a mere nothing awaiting the positive space/time; it is a pregnant nothingness that is "never unsubstantial or uncreative." To continue the metaphor, ma is not merely fecundative either; it glows with spiritual power, meaning, and attraction, just as light shining through the gate or "a spiritual strength faintly revealing itself."
--"Intervals ("Ma") in Space and Time: Foundations for a Religio-Aesthetic Paradigm in Japan", by Richard B. Pilgrim