Prose by Wayne Visser
~ The building blocks of life and the universe are the spaces in between ~Where are the spaces in your life, in your work, in your relationships, in your day? Do you actively seek space, plan for it even, or do you avoid it? The quantity of our life is measure by fullness – the amount we manage to pack into our allotted space. The quality of our life is measured by space – the amount of clutter we manage to let go of in our allotted time. Do you try to fill your every waking moment with things – with noise (is the radio or television always on?), with activities (are you a task junkie?), with artefacts (are you a shopaholic?). Or do you try to set aside space – in the day (do you have quiet time alone?), in relationships (do you have time away?), in your mind (do you feed your creativity or imagination?), in your spirit (do you pray or meditate?). The lack of space in our life reflects our appetite for having rather than experiencing, for doing rather than being. Activity is motion, motion causes friction, friction causes noise, noise fills the space. When we slow down, the cacophony subsides. When we are still, the silence enters in. When we are silent, we discover a different kind of motion – an inner motion, of thoughts and feelings, ideas and insights. The emptiness of space is a fallacy, a misnomer. Space is never empty. The scientists agree – from the sub-atomic to the astronomic, from quantum mechanics to astrophysics – our world is almost entirely made up of space. Space is the womb of all creation. We should pay attention to the space in our lives, we should seek it out, enlarge it, immerse ourselves in it. Instead, all too often, we find space by accident – in the waiting places, the transit lounges, the network nodes, the in between times. At first, we greet this unplanned space with impatience, irritation, disdain. Space is an unwelcome guest in the midst of our tightly sequenced schedule of busyness, an interruption to the smooth running of the just-in-time operation we call our lives. But space seeks us with intent. When we are in these transition zones – lingering at the airport, waiting at the bus stop, stuck in traffic, caught in a queue, stranded on an deserted train platform, left behind in an empty home or office – we regain our sense of perspective, we re-evaluate wheat is important to us, we hear our calling more distinctly, we see our destiny more clearly. Space is the place where we are stretched – strung out like an elastic, estranged from familiar things, separated from loved ones. We feel the pain of distension in space, yet it may be just what we need to remind us of our true priorities, to confirm the intensity of our affections, to break our bondage to material things. There is beauty in space – the endless undulating sand dunes of the desert, the vast expanse of the ocean reaching the horizon, the white sheet of snowscape spread far and wide, the dark voice of celestial space engulfing the universe. Nature’s space is humbling and uplifting, for we are both insignificant and indispensable. The true artist paints with space and the gifted writer weaves a narrative through omission. To unleash our potential as humans, we must become guardians of outer space and masters of inner space. Beware the space invaders – technology used unwisely, work pursued obsessively, products bought unthinkingly, relationships neglected selfishly, distractions embraced compulsively. Where is the space deficit in your life right now? What do you need to let go of, or say no to, or switch off, in order to regain your space? Who do you need to make more space for? Always remember, your space is sacred.
Wayne Visser © 2005
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