The Space Between…

 In Reflections

“The spaces between stars are where the work of the universe is done.” —Ivan Doig

Scientists and theologians both point out that empty spaces aren’t empty at all. There is often palpable energy or “work” happening in those spaces.

Sometimes the spaciousness of a pause for a deep breath can be the difference between a positive or harmful outcome.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” —Viktor Frankl

Some people are lashing out in harmful ways, with more mass shootings and road rage occurring this month. As we hold all those affected by these tragedies in our hearts and prayers, we can also uplift ourselves and others by tending to our own need for space.

I know I am worn down right now after an intense couple of months, so reminding myself to pause feels important. Not always doing so can result in my thinking “Oh I wish I hadn’t said or reacted like that.”  The space between can be a sacred gift that saves us from creating a gulf too wide to bridge. The choice is ours to focus on and accept the gift. How might you seek out and make the most of the space between?

May the space between your thoughts and actions be filled with wisdom, love, and compassion for yourself and others. 

These Trees

“These trees are magnificent, but even more magnificent is the sublime and moving space between them, as though with their growth it too increased.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke

The Emptiness Inside

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
―Tao Te Ching, translation by Stephen Mitchell

Space Between the Stones

A lesson
I am still learning:

not to toss
stones into the pond
one after the other,

compelled by
a seductive
yet unattainable ideal
of constant
forward motion—

but rather
to allow space
between the stones,
to let
the ripples expand
into stillness

so I can
clearly see
the treasures
just below the surface.

—Kai Siedenburg, Space Between the Stones: Poetry and Practices for Connecting with Nature, Spirit, and Creativity

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