The Space Between

It’s the space between words on a page that make reading enjoyable. It’s the space between notes in a musical score that makes listening pleasurable.

Hint #3 — Globally there are eight species of pelicans. Only two of the eight species live in North America. During my sabbatical, I won’t see any because they’re wintering in states south of my geographic location. If it were summertime, however, I might be gifted with a sighting.

Life has spaces.

Some are shorter than others—the space between breaths, blinking, and heartbeats.

Some are longer than others—the space between cell phone upgrades, careers, and changing homes.

Life happens in the space between. And it’s meant to be savored.

Do you give yourself enough space?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”


61 thoughts on “The Space Between

  1. I think it’s both the words AND the spaces that makes reading enjoyable and interesting. The same goes for the musical notes AND the silences, the actor’s voice and the actor’s silence, and the artist’s colors and blank canvas. We need both. I try to savor the experiences and the pauses in between. I think as long as we can hope and dream we have some space.

  2. Yes, so true. What popped into my mind was Bill Moyers interview with Joseph Campbell. Campbell was talking about listening to the Tibetan monks chanting the great AUM. He said there is the AA then the UU then closing with the MM followed by the fourth element. The fourth element is the silence. Campbell went on to say, the “aum” said as the monks teach it is the great throbbing sound of the universe. And the silence, the fourth element, represents the immortal
    I have no idea where that was stored in my brain. Clearly, my brain space is jam packed after all these years. Glad my retrieval system still works.

    I do have sufficient space in my life at this stage. I start each day with an intention to find appropriate balance including a space for reflection.

  3. That is very true. I suppose that’s where holidays and weekends come in, but also motherhood and parental leave from work, even sickness can be seen as a time to indulge on oneself, stop and reconsider options. 👍💗

    • Fatima — “…even sickness.”

      You’re so right. My sister is currently on vacation in Maui, sick as sick can be, but she’s using this space to be perfectly still and recharge her personal battery (while listening to the waves crashing and watching palm trees sway in the breeze) 🙂

  4. I believe I do flirt endlessly with the liminal moment Laurie. You may remember but I shall post it here again a poem I wrote in June 2011 and published at Creative Potager…


    Only poets settle the irritable edges of an uninterrupted day:

    Rukeyser, Oliver, Whitman.

    Questions posed with audacious retorts.

    Words liminal.

    The mind’s blank titanium whites transcend their dazzling brilliance,

    leaving dawn’s uninterruptible, curious, confusion

    for the sanctity of coffee, fruit and yogurt.

    And with this I leave you Laurie to return shortly to your writing on The Business Of Being. More about “waiting” will appear tomorrow in my next post. All the best as always!

  5. Usually. The only space I’m lacking is a separate space for my writing. Currently, I’m squeezed into the living room. Okay, not really squeezed. We have a large living room. But a separate writing room with a door is a dream.

    • Leanne — I know precisely and exactly what you mean.

      Being here in this entire house, uninterrupted, by myself (well, there’s two cats and one dog) is a dream come true!

      I hope that your dream comes true in the very near future 🙂

  6. Wow so true you have very good insight. I think we humans rush around to fast. We can’t hear are selves think. Life needs to be enjoyed just being in a peaceful state. Mary Jakob

  7. Hell with philosophical space talk today, what is this Star Trek???? I’ve already got buyers lined up on Ebay for an autographed book. So to recap snow, pelicans, in the lower 48 states, and I had a strange new city show up on my Google Analytics today…..Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  8. I talk all the time about this in my Yoga classes… The space between the poses (the transitions) are where the changes happen, where transformation takes place. We need that space to process the changes in our practice and in our lives. Whether it’s space in yoga or between words or the sweet pauses in music, it’s in those moments that life truly happens, because we take the time to notice. Beautiful post as always!

  9. Space is an interesting idea.

    The naive version is emptiness, but modern cosmology seems to be telling us that such a thing cannot exist. It seems that space itself is fundamentally creative, and will (with some probability) create some pair of positive and negative somethings (that sum to zero, thus conserving mass conservation laws – gravity is negative mass/energy in this sense) to populate anything approaching a vacuum.

    It seems that what most of us call “space”, is a change of the population of things that occupy our awareness.

    Our minds are very habitual, and sometimes our “trains of thought” get stuck on tracks left by previous thoughts. Sometimes having a different landscape can sufficiently alter the patterning of our brains that when the train appears again, it is able to travel a new and more interesting “track”. Such seems to be a fundamental aspect of our creativity.

    And space in terms of time is also interesting.
    It seems that the reality we find ourselves in has a fundamental minimum that is about 10^-43 of a second, but that human brains cannot do better than about 10^-2 of a second (1/100 second) – so that in terms of the fundamental reality we exist in, it experiences some 10^41 time units in 1/100 of a second that is the smallest unit of time we can appreciate. To put that number in perspective, if you took all the seconds that have existed since the universe began some 14 billion years ago, and divided each of them into that same number of pieces, you are getting close to 10^40.

    So a lot happens in reality that we cannot possibly appreciate.
    Fortunately, the smallest things we can see are made of very large collections of the fundamental stuff, and large collections of things tend to change more slowly than individual units, so we can mostly make some sort of sense of our existence – and a lot of what we think is necessarily illusion.
    A lot of our rules and laws and understandings are necessarily simplistic approximations to something that is vastly more complex.

    And yes – taking space, making space, is vital. And there is always something of a delicate balance between sufficient space to maintain identity and creativity, and so much space that communication with others becomes almost impossible, as there is so little common ground left that can serve as the shared basis of understanding.

    • Ted — I always enjoy the way you think (and learn from it, too).

      I like spaces (pauses, cessation) and I find my creativity mechanism triggered by space (uncluttered area in my line of vision).

  10. I am a little TOO selfish with those speciality spaces in between . There is nothing like a space to get the creativity juices flowing .

  11. Laurie, interesting thought, the use of Space. It’s something I always crave, whether physically or mentally, I want and need to have unencumbered spaces in which to stretch, move into, move out of, waste, create, dominate or eliminate. Space denotes a certain freedom and you are well blessed if you have any at all. I have finally been gifted with more space than I know what to do with and I am terribly busy doing nothing whatsoever with it…yet.

  12. I had just the right amount of space and time for me between my Mother’s death and my partner’s retirement. Retirement is being difficult for me to adjust into – I miss that space I had. My partner does go hiking or cross country skiing on Tuesdays and cycling on Saturdays when the weather is nice. He is also working a project right now to help pay for the new roof. And, and then there are all the interruptions when I am reading or writing, even when I close the door and try to disappear…there are still so many interruptions. Soon too he will be working in the garden….these are all good. Then there are rules, which do not fit my life – I adjust and then there is no reciprocal action….Lots of adjustments….I have taken to driving to the lake parking lot and reading until I become too cold or drafting reviews until I can get to the computer. Space is uncomfortable right now…I like being silent – this is apparently offensive to so many Partner was Mr Silent Hard worker amazing listener at work… home he is Mr Talks a lot and Mr. I AM Important….We have only been at this for a year, I know it will get better.
    I envy you your space right now…and know you must be enjoying it and the focus
    I do appreciate you coming by my blog when you are on line – what a lovely gift

  13. Space is my favorite place. Space allows me to slow my pace. Space helps me fall into grace. Space is the air between fabric, like lace. With space there is no race, but Space is where I’m going…post haste! 🙂

    • Tina — Your “barn” time sounds lovely to me. And I can assure you that fact about “pelicans” (when I Googled “Fun Facts About My Location”) sent my eyebrows sailing right into my hairline 🙂

  14. Love this. I do need my space, and thankfully get it. As for where you are, I have no clue although I keep envisioning you hiding away in some log cabin in a great white north. 🙂

  15. I love it good job, I have a scientific blog of my own and I just love to read materials just as mine, that’s great work here. I have so much to learn from the others and improve my blog. Thanks in advance for the lovely article and I will confess that I am in love with your blog.

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