the spaces inbetween
and the grass grows by itself
Matsuo Bash (1644-1694)
Between sunrise and sunset there is space.
Between each breath there is space.
I am interested in what we do with these spaces and why it is so beguiling to fill them. To fill all the spaces in life with stuff.
I am perhaps and most probably a bit obsessive about this. I love simple rooms, empty walls, almost empty cupboards and only one of an item whether it be a cleaning product, shampoo or jar of pickle. Then to use that item until it is finished… noticing the lack before replacing it.
Our shops buy into our insatiable desire to accumulate clutter… one more fragrant candle, coloured basket, ornament and tack that we feel we need or feel the need to give to another!
Stuff takes up head space. Energy and time to accommodate. We are drowning in it.
It is interesting why we are apparently so cautious to allow time and space into our lives. Why doing is so much more beguiling than being. It seems that we find more interest in cleaning than in watching the light filter through the petals of the geranium on our windowsill. What us our ever present fear of emptiness – of nothingness, about?.
‘if we can be present in the silence, between the in-breath and the out-breath, holding the connection between our soul and the soul of the world, our body and the body of the Earth, then magic can happen – the real magic that belongs to the Creator and the creation.’ Llewellyn Vaughan- Lee
(Somehow in this quote, even the word ‘holding’ is too strong… ‘allowing’ might perhaps be better.)
‘Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about. Rumi
Maybe creating space is one of the most important things we can do. It is an insurmountable task to clear up the craziness we have already created … our rivers are choked, our shorelines desecrated and our seas have islands of plastic. In buying more stuff we are encouraging the creation of yet another layer; we are buying into a system that is destroying us.
In the Utah desert last year, amidst the extraordinary silence, the startling blue of the sky above me was cross hatched all day and all night with aeroplane tracks. Even our precious sky is compromised by our love of doing.
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well…..
TS Elliot, The Little Gidding
Sunset from the Suie Hill, Aberdeenshire. 10.15pm