Spaces in our lives create aeration, room in the soil around us for growth, for us to send roots in all directions, not just one. The roots stabilize us, but without the space, we only grow a taproot. The tiny sideways roots hold us together, stabilize us as a whole, and make the soil itself better and healthier.
Living an arrow lifestyle – is for the few. I wouldn’t take that away from the passionate folk whose bellies burn, not in a million years. Their wings must not be clipped. But it is those few who are the heroes in our cultural story. To fly as a star in the sky, you must cut all the weight away. There is no space in your life for tea parties, no space for card games. No space to spend a few minutes over the back fence chatting to the neighbor. And so to fly… but not all lives are lived in such a way, because not all lives can be, if life itself is to be fostered.
Again we come to a place of retreat from the cultural norm. Deciding to make spaces in life is deciding to make room for people, conversations, random interactions. It is deciding not to fill up life with work and soma. That’s what people do … we work, we work on self-improvement, and we unplug our brains and engage in entertainment. Leaving space for unplanned sidetrips? Not so much. Looking up? Not so much.
Mea Maxima Culpa. I rejoice today at the outcome of a private conversation. Being home at that time was not in my plan. It was in Someone Else’s daybook. I press against this constantly, being a woman of goals. If I don’t see progress being made, I am brutal with myself. Today, when I would have been out, I was in. This was not my plan. But it was beautiful.
I looked up later in the morning, and thought, “I don’t look up and enjoy the days as they are… I work on my work days to get to my off days, to get to the ‘days I can do what I like’. And then I don’t ‘do what I like’ unless one is interpreting, “scrub the floor” as a hobby rather than a task to achieve a goal.” Why? I don’t cherish my spaces. It’s not that I don’t enjoy little spaces (I do) it’s that I’m temperamentally oriented to diving deep into conversations, hobbies, passions – I want my big spaces to play in, and I have been convinced that I must earn that space by jamming everything else together. But the little spaces inspire the big spaces.
I’m interested in this answer… for 24 hours have been allotted per day since time began, and more hours were worked to put food on the table and a roof over our heads in times past. How did we make room for the little spaces? Is this a dream born of reading novels instead of history books? Is it simply that modernity inspires us to run screaming to soma for respite when war and starvation do not? Is luxury addicting more than opium?
Without spaces, we cannot get to know our neighbors, form communities, take an interest, or be known. Without spaces, we can’t leave our minds free in silence long enough to create, to play, or to laugh. Spaces allow us to put down roots, roots which are desperately needed in this time of storm.