Finding space

‘To live a conscious life, your life needs to be spacious.’ Marc Beuvain
‘I am in the space and the space is in me . . . The space is in the body and the body is in the space . . . When you change something in the body, the concrete body of somebody, you change his or her way of perceiving the space . . . Very often we keep working on the body and we forget to work on the space…Space, not place, is an imaginary space of action . . . The way I am building my imaginary space affects my body.’ Hubert Godard
Whenever I complete one of those spatial awareness personality tests, my results are virtually nil.  If the scores could be negative, they probably would be.  I have learned the hard way not to have faith when navigating my car in a tight space, because the results are always disastrous.  My first experience of this was the day after I passed my driving test, when I had to pick up a colleague from a car repair workshop, and managed to scrape my own vehicle on the way out!
So it strikes me as ironic but also necessary that I find myself at this stage in my life so very interested in finding and exploring space.  I would like to hear how others feel about space – maybe you are revisiting the way you spend time, maybe you have stopped working recently or changed the way you are using the space of your life – or maybe you are just reflecting.
When I was in my 20s, I became aware that my desire to be productive and busy in my work, and generally to fill my time, was at least partly a very human response to running away from space – what was at that time a scary void where I might discover I was, in fact, nothing.  I remember discussing this with my friend Robert and we were both resigned to the business of filling the looming forward space of our lives.  Years later when that space seems less open-ended, I have become fascinated with the challenges of re(dis)covering comfort in space.  It is still at times a scary endeavour, and often easier to slip back to the deep-rooted habit of running away and meaninglessly filling the space with displacement activity.
A friend of mine was ill a few years ago and when she went to a homeopath, she was told that her outer life was so busy that this crowdedness had somehow invaded her inner life and her body – hence the illness.  She needed to create space around and inside her to be cured.  She followed this strategy and it worked.
My yoga practice is transforming my relationship with space – inside and out – and I’m very grateful to a number of teachers in helping me understand more about space, not all of whom can I name here without going into a litany of appreciation!   Through working with the rolfer and yoga teacher Giovanni Felicioni, I am learning to give up the chase that can be yoga as well as the rest of life, and by accepting where I am now, to discover the space inside me as well as explore the space I’m inhabiting.  I enjoy Giovanni’s way of teaching because it is so exploratory and so non-judgmental.  He uses evocative abstract images, calling his workshops for example ‘time, water and accidents of perception’ which all makes sense during and after the experience though it would be hard to put into words before.  

I recently attended a yoga seminar given by Marc Beuvain, where he talked about the need to create space for our inner being, our deeper, enduring true self without compromising our humanness and immediate experience.  Our lives are so full of preoccupations with our identities, roles, interests, feelings etc – we crowd out our deeper selves and so we get lost in the more superficial aspects of living, distracted by drama and conflict.  We create false identities where we adopt fixed positions and make judgments to define ourselves.  A good clue as to whether we have a fixed or more permeable/adaptable identity is our ability to talk about many subjects without feeling compelled to judge them as good or bad.  We become so attached to these positions that we mistake them for what is real and enduring in ourselves, and then we fear losing them.  If I am no longer a …..then what and who am I?  This fear of losing our (false) identity leads us to crave reinforcement and seek energy from others to feed our need.  It can lead to hierarchical relationships where one person is drawing more energy than the other is receiving, rather than an equal exchange.
So how to create a sense of space inside that can be reflected in our outer lives, and start to clear the clutter?  Yoga practice can develop our appreciation of space – inside and out – and give us the ability to be comfortable in and with space.  Through such practice the real self can emerge.  That happens when the practice takes the form of explorations – questions that are really excursions into space – rather than performances or answers. I see yoga practice as a ‘…’ or a ‘?’ – never a ‘.’ 

While I am talking about yoga practice, I really mean an attitude towards living.  You might never have practised yoga on a mat – but if you are striving for any of this kind of attitude in your life, then you are in fact a lifelong student of yoga.  (I appreciate this may be a surprise to you!)
I like this story though I’m not sure I’ve got all the facts right.  Please correct them if you know better. Hubert Godard is a well-known rolfer who works with ballet dancers in France.  As a young man he worked with gold, and then he achieved his own alchemical transformation.  At the age of 22 he saw ballet dancers perform perhaps for the first time, his heart leapt, and he just knew he would be a dancer – this was a moment of deep heartfelt knowing who he was and would become.  It was a moment of recognition of his inner self.  He had the perception and the courage to act on it, and he created the space to follow his intuition.

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31 Responses to Finding space

  1. Simon C Jones says:

    Space is a wonderful thing; or is it place, perhaps to be used inter-changeably. My whole life I have appreciated space and the sounds, smells and sights that fill up space. I am at peace in quiet spaces, but contrarily also in noisy anonymity. My home is sacred space, each room has different purposes and therefore each has different sacredness. To close one’s eyes, sitting in the centre of space is an awesome experience, absorbing then not, then conscious of everything around you, and not you. Mystical experiences, consciousness profound, fleeting in the busy-ness of our lives.

    Once in the middle of the Australian desert in a storm I saw space I had not seen before – the fine filaments of lighting above me, the sound, tremendous sound of the huge rain drops falling around me, and of the thunder ‘rolling around the desert’ – it was massive, made me feel so tiny, yet able to perceive its wondrous energy. I was lost in time, hours passed without me knowing.

    I find space tremendously empowering, freeing, very meaningful.

  2. Chris says:

    Oh I do find this one hard to get my head round. Maybe it’s a bit deep and intellectual for me.

    On the subject of physical space I like lots of it. A friend recently confided that when her daughters leave home she would downsize as she didn’t want a big house “like this one”. I managed not to say that I thought the house in question was tiny and rather claustrophobic.

    I do not class myself as claustrophobic but I’m close to being there. I like to sit at the aisle end of the row in the cinema or the theatre for instance so that I can get out to a larger space should the need arise – which of course it never does.

    But the paradox is that in personal relationships I am a touch feely sort. Quick with a pat of praise or a hug.

    And this is not the best few days for me to think about this stuff. My personal inner space – the place where I am most commitedly me – is shrinking. I have commitments to the community pressing on me, taking freedom of action away. I’m organising a Dog Show to take place on Sunday and the tasks must be done – can’t be put off until next week. And I’m managing a couple of difficult issues on behalf of the Parish Council. Must be done and must be done correctly in a rigid timescale. No time or space to drift. I feel mildly uncomfortable but know how pleased I shall be when people are happy about what I have done and when the inner space expands again.

    That inner space has ruled me for some years now. When I retired I felt that the space had shrunk to almost nothing and I looked forward to it expanding and me doing all sorts of things I didn’t have time for while I was working. But the work ethic is strong and I still quite often feel guilty if that space expands too far and then I look round for what I “should” be doing. Watch out any of you still working full time – adjusting to retirement is a second career every bit as challenging as the mainstream one.

    • Hi Chris, as I have the utmost respect for your ability to get your mind around just about anything, I’d like to know which parts are confusing – it’s always helpful to know when one’s own communication may have missed the mark. Be more specific because maybe other people out there are also wondering what I’m talking about! I hope they’ll also say if this is the case.

      All your reflections on space in the different dimensions of your life are interesting, but it’s your last para I’d like to comment on. Maybe we are brought up from childhood to expect others/parents/school/work/life to define our space for us. Much later in life, when you ‘retire’ (always an interesting word to me and not one I like; similar to ‘free time’ – isn’t all time free?), you have the true challenge of defining your own space. It’s like using a muscle you may never have developed. If we learned to appreciate space and how just to ‘be’ in it rather than to endlessly ‘do’, from an early age, how might that change our relationship with our time, ourselves and our lives? Oh dear – I’m probably getting too metaphysical again, as it’s getting late. Will stop here. I’m sure you’ll tell me if I’m talking nonsense!

  3. Chris says:

    My problem with the topic as set out in the initial blog is that it challenges me to think about what is time and what is space and what is inner and what is outer. And I don’t know the answers! And it feels a bit mystical which makes me shy away. So I feel at sea.

    I find your last paragraph comforting but worrying. I’m really a lost cause. I’ve always been driven and recognise that I always will be – it’s built in. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be me. I feel safe with a task list. Even safer with a long task list. But I’m happy and a respected (and possibly loved) member of my community. I have friends who work at getting me to chill out and I think I’m getting a bit better at it.

    But what are we doing to the younger generations when we don’t let kids be kids, don’t let them learn at their own rate in the early years, don’t let them play until they feel like doing something more serious? Set them targets and measure them all the time? Will they grow up with no inner space? Have the troubled and troublesome elements of today’s teenagers done just that?

    I’m off now to that ultimate inner space – the land of dreams. Good night.

  4. Dody Jane says:

    I have never done well at Yoga. I do not think I am a very good candidate. My mind wanders and I feel very self conscious. There is an awful lot of Puritan in me! Nevertheless, I really do understand what you have written about and find that I am also reorganizing my space to a certain degree. My own spatial issues have to do with my ‘stuff.’ I have so much stuff: stuff I started with, stuff my husband came with, stuff I have foist upon myself along the way and now, all of my mother’s stuff.

    I have made a special commitment to begin sorting through the ‘stuff.’ It is as if I am trying to tunnel out of a tight space in the hopes of finding a cleaner, less cluttered world. This includes some of my relationships as well, although I feel I am and always have been blessed with a lovely inner space. I know what makes me happy and fortunately, I am quite content.

    This has been a really thought provoking piece. I know I will ponder it tonight while I drive to visit my sister in Atlanta.

    • Chris says:

      Dody Jane, Don’t you dare get me started on “stuff”!

    • Hi Dody Jane,
      On stuff: I’m ambivalent about stuff. Like you I feel a need to sort out ‘stuff’ and dealing with my mother’s stuff (mainly books) propelled me on that journey. At the same time I am sometimes paralysed by my own stuff – especially my papers. When we moved house a couple years ago, that was a real incentive to clear out stuff, but now I feel it getting on top of me again. Like you too, I am in search of ‘a cleaner, less cluttered world’. Yoga takes me to such a place.
      On yoga: ‘doing well’ and ‘yoga’ just don’t belong in the same sentence for me! Yoga is so not about doing well. I feel very passionately about this. So much of life is about doing well and yoga takes us (well, me anyway) to a different space. If your mind wanders and you feel self-conscious, then that’s just where you are. Stay there and you’ll find yourself somewhere else. Finding the right teacher is essential.
      On stuff again: Paraphernalia (your wonderful website/blog) is stuff by another name, and I loved it straightaway because of the great mix of images and words.
      I will think of you driving to Atlanta thinking about space and stuff.

  5. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog Karin. And now I’m surprised when I read other people’s comments because I immediately went down a different train of thought! I thought of Miranda Tufnell’s beautiful and inspiring book ‘Body Space Image’, and I started thinking about creating space between joints in the body for greater ease in movement. I think it was the poetic way you are writing that took me in this direction of thought rather than the more mundane, such as the empty space left in my son’s bedroom since he took all his possessions down to his first flat in London a fortnight ago. I say ‘mundane’ but I posted on Facebook about the mix of emotions I felt about the empty bedroom, resulting in a torrent of comments!

    • Many thanks for the book reference, Amanda, and for understanding about space in the body as well as space outside. And now your comment has made me think about how when I am walking, if I remember the space between the joints especially in my knees and hips, I have a smoother gait and pace and I also feel more fluid. This is especially beneficial when on a long walk – so a practical point can come out of the poetic as well!

  6. Stephen says:

    “Space the final frontier” – as the intro to Star Trek I always thought that was a bit narrow because, as you point out Karin, space is wrapped up in/with time. Every space exists within a moment and so the two are inextricably linked.
    When I was working I found it very difficult to find any personal space/time as I was always doing something for somone else both at home and work. This has become so part of my psyche that now I’ve retired I’m still struggling to find the space/time for just doing what I want to do rather than looking for things I can do for other people.
    Of course the question is – does it matter whether I’m doing it for me or for someone else as long as I’m happy and possibly making someone else happy too?

    Does society have the space for existential thinking?

    • Strangely I was going to call this post ‘Found in space’ initially, thinking of both ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘Star Trek’ (neither of which was I ever a fan!) I understand your comments about spending space/time doing things for others when life is so full as it tends to be when you are busy with work. (I’m sure others such as Chris will have views on these sentiments too.) I think that for me the dilemma with space is less feeling a need to find things to do for other people than it is doing things that I consider worthwhile (a whole other topic there) – obviously these can overlap.

      I appreciate your last question. I’m not sure if much of our society (never really know what that means – people, I guess) does create the space for existential thinking – or want to. Is it too threatening, or does it just seem weird, deep and pointless?

  7. Chris says:

    You are so right that I have a view on this whole business of filling up time and space doing things that have to be done, that maybe you want to do, that you even enjoy doing, that give other people pleasure and so on. The problem which I have not yet managed to solve is that too often there is then no time or space or energy left to do the things I want to do for my own interest and enjoyment. I nearly caught myself there typing ‘for my own SELFISH interest’ and therein lies, I think, a large part of the problem. We are brought up to think self comes last. We, (surely not just I?) do not value highly enough our own needs and so those things which we do primarily for our own pleasure get constantly prioritised to the bottom of the list and only occasionally qualify for a share of our time and energies.

    I always used to hate the concept of Gold Time in time management training as time you set aside for your own stuff (oh dear – now I’m back to ‘stuff”, Dody Jane!) because when the time came round I didn’t feel like doing those things at that time because my interest and attention were engaged elsewhere. I seem to be trapped in a paradox whereby if I don’t plan dedicated time for personal pleasure activities they won’t get on to my agenda but if I do schedule time it takes a lot of the enjoyment away. Could it be that there is extra pleasure if you feel a little guilty about doing fun things? That doesn’t sound good. Maybe I’m too much of a free spirit now I am no longer constrained by the shackles of fulltime paid employment. Or maybe I just need another decade or two to get to grips with the problem.

    • I very much agree with your points about being brought up not to value what nourishes yourself and so deprioritising it. I think part of the process of individuation – becoming the person you are meant to be – is about being able to value your own needs, desires and interests in relationship with others. I like the term ‘self-full’ rather than ‘selfish’; and I think that if you don’t feed yourself, then there is no way you can support others because you just get completely starved through the process.

      On the second points, I think that if you aren’t a scheduler by nature then scheduling will certainly take away the pleasure in most things even what you really enjoy. I’m not sure about the guilt thing though enhancing the pleasure. That would seem to me to come from the ‘self comes last’ mentality perhaps.

    • Stephen says:

      Hi Chris – significant resonance in what you say with me. I feel this maybe something to do with the time I was brought up in. As someone whose formative years were in the 1950s there was a culture after the war of self sacrifice. After all in the previous decade, many thousands had given their lives for their country. I think we inherited that sense of selflessness and at the risk of being “an old git” I don’t see that in the youngsters of today but I’m prepared for accusations of being unfair on today’s “yoof” culture.
      As you say, I think it will take at least another year of retirement before I can shrug off 40 years of certain behaviours and revert to the freewheeling approach I had as a student in the late 1960s.
      As a final anecdote from me that epitomises the idea of mental space I can clearly recall hitchhiking from my home in Essex to my college in County Durham. I finished up at midnight on the A1 just outside Wetherby. Snow was beginning to fall but I wasn’t worried and quite prepared to snuggle up under a bridge until dawn (As it turned out a lorry stopped and gave me a lift all the way to Darlington). How things have changed. Then I had no money and no worries, now I have a wallet full of credit cards, a healthy bank balance and yet a stress out whenever I prepare to go on holiday. I can’t figure that one out.

  8. Chris says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Seems like we are of an age! And all that you say in your first paragraph draws a nod and a smile of complete agreement from me.

    I’m not sure I was ever truly free-wheeling. I was an earnest child and young woman. But would love to be more so now. I love that thing that says something like “When I grow old I’ll wear purple…”. I have a vision of me throwing over the traces. However I have found that responsibilities towards family and friends have grown and taken over a lot of what was going to be time for myself. And as age advances energy levels deplete so that precious promised time for self gets squeezed from both sides.

    But hey! Life is good. There will be time one day. And you don’t have to look far to start counting your blessings.

  9. psimon5 says:

    Hi Karin, Hi everyone. Honoured to be given the link to this blog. refreshingly brave, warm people. Great ideas. I don’t really know how to start so I’ll just jump straight in.

    As Stephen notes, we’re told the maths shows time and space are same thing. Which is lucky for me because I find it easier to think about space in terms of time: I naturally live in the present, rather than dwelling on the past or thinking about the future. That instant that is the present is the pivot, the turning point, the fulcrum, the place of stillness. In many ways this is a great default to have – though not helpful in my work where looking back and looking forward are vital – but hey!
    I don’t mean to be overly literal here – its just that the idea of Finding Space hadn’t really occurred to me before reading this post – I tend to think more in terms of finding stillness, contentment, peace, lack of fear and so on.
    As a visual thinker – thinking about ‘space’ as metaphor for the stillness etc is really powerful, and sparks off other ideas. I’ve got Rosemary Stewart’s Demands and Constraints shapes in my mind and I’m already thinking about how one could shape and push out those zones… what might the axes be? and so on.

    Born in the 1970’s I’m also a product of my era – and so Star Trek, Star Wars, science fiction are normal reference points for me (though social networking has passed me by and I’m way out of my depth blogging!). My dad used the idea of The Force (from Star Wars) to describe to me as a lad his secular philosophy of oneness with others; I love science fiction because (apart from the occasional enjoyable alien, space ship and explosion etc) by tinkering with or ignoring the shackles of reality, science fiction is free to have ideas, the genre allows ‘space’ to try on new things for size. Someone once described Phillip K Dick as writing at 90 degrees to reality.

    I wonder if ‘space’ is just a vehicle towards, or euphemism for, freedom. “Freedom From ……..” [fill in blank as required]. Is that what we’re actually after when we walk, run, do yoga, hide, dream, love…? Dunno. But I think thats ok too.

  10. Hi Simon, you’re right on track with yoga as a path to freedom. One of the best yoga festivals/workshops I attended a few years ago at the wonderful Ickwell Bury (a magical place, now closed) was called Sadhana Kaivalyam (the practice/path/quest for freedom) and included some great sessions led by Ranju Roy.

    Have we ever talked much about yoga? Much of what you say is very yogic. There is lots more (as ever!) in your comments, which I hope others may pick up on. Thanks so much for joining in and come back again.

  11. Barbara says:

    Thank you so much for your thoughts. Considering Space is so important. I work as a therapist in a Doctor’s surgery in an inner city. I have long felt that therapy is about creating space both physically, temporally and spiritually. Some clients talk about the space just for them or the time to be. I have also introduced Mindfulness Groups to the surgery and it has been exciting to see people relishing doing nothing but being. Someone said today ‘I didn’t think I had time to do nothing’.
    Spaciousness is a gift.

    • Karin says:

      Hello Barbara, thank you for making the time and space to leave a comment. I like your comments about therapy. There are so many people I meet who feel guilty about ‘doing nothing’ and ‘just being’ as if it is a waste of time, when in fact this can be one of the most nourishing experiences available. Look forward to more of your reflections.

  12. Chris says:

    Hi everyone,

    I so like the neat way Barbara has underlined all our thoughts about time = space = freedom = time = space etc.

    Welcome aboard Barbara. Your comments seem to link the conceptual and the more practical sub-groups which I feel are discernable among us. I look forward to more.


  13. Simon Donnelly says:

    Coming into this discussion a bit behind everyone else has made it difficult for me to know where to start. Is it by commenting on everyone else’s thoughts or diving in at the deep end with my own? Hmm. So many interesting avenues to explore…

    psimon5 raises the idea that space might be freedom from and Karin responds with freedom to. Maybe it depends on your outlook.

    One of my hobbies is astronomy. I appreciate that we’re not really talking about the space between the stars here but it seems like a fine analogy for personal inner and outer space.

    What has become certain over recent years is that space is not empty and nor is it a perfect vacuum. Think about all the light particles/wavicles/whatever other expression (photons) that are moving through space all the time. And all the other esoteric particles that are filling up the void, too. The theorists assure us that protons and anti-protons are being constantly ‘born’ out of nowhere, meet each other and anihilate. For the duration of their life, they have energy and mass.

    Where is this all taking us? I can’t help but feel that your own space is filled with whatever happens to exist in it at the time you stop to consider it. Not only that but new elements will pop into existence, have a life of their own and possibly fade away or die without any real assistance from you. Space, although personal to you, is something that everyone has – it’s ubiquitous – and therefore we all have it in common.

    I delight in my journey to and from work. It can take two hours each way on average and I sit in my space surrounded by people sitting in theirs as we trundle slowly around the M25. I feel comforted that while within my personal space, I am not alone.

    • psimon5 says:

      Hi folks. I really enjoyed your post Simon (Donnelly).

      Got me thinking about the whole Schrodingers Cat thought experiment which illustrates one of the bonkers implications of quantum theory whereby the act of observing influences reality.

      That then got me thinking about conciousness, our striving for understanding, our striving for zen-ness. Does the act of looking and thinking influence the outcome?

      Then that got me thinking how in our anthropic culture it can be quite challenging to suggest “new elements will pop into existence, have a life of their own and possibly fade away or die without any real assistance from you”. To dare to suggest things might happen regardless of our input, when we’ve worked do hard to understand and make sense of it all – well really!

      Better stop there, cos all that’s got me thinking about consciousness and God and so on – and I was always brought up not to discuss God in polite company!

      bw, Simon (Randall)

  14. Marc Beuvain says:

    Hi Karin

    It’s always interesting to see what different people take away with them from each seminar. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about the need for space, and I completely agree with you: there are very many people practising yoga without ever getting on a mat.

    Thank you for this lovely entry,

    • Karin says:

      Hi Marc, thanks for this. Your comment makes me wonder, what did you hope I/we would take away? And of course there were loads of other points I took away too, maybe to feature in another blog. All the best, Karin

  15. Hi Karin – I am fascinated by everyone’s responses to the idea of “space” and I was particularly struck by the idea of how space and stuff seem to go together like “a horse and carriage”- a balance of opposites? I noted an image of lists that came to me as I read and how lists emerge from the space in our heads and land up written on the spaces provided by bits of lined paper, fluoresenct sticky-notes or the back of our hand. Then the image of the sky came: a blue sky and then the clouds and the spaces between the clouds; and then the feeling of the space at the end of each easy outbreath, and then the memory of spaces between my thoughts. In my body, I feel reconciled that stuff of all sorts arises and falls and its all OK… and then I look up across the kitchen table and remind myself of the smooth shiny whiteness of a fridge door that lies behind my lists!
    Beverley, x

  16. Karin says:

    Hi Beverley, I really like the way your comment flows and moves from one image to another – rather like an undirected train of thought, the breath moving easily. Just observing… Yes, it is interesting how space seems to quickly bring up stuff. I think we have an ambivalent relationship with space – or I do, anyway. I crave it and when I find it, in that moment, I feel really at peace with myself and the world, but then all the stuff crowds in, captured on the lists. Is there something scary about just being in and with the space? The stuff is what roots us in our reality, makes us who we are. And yet, as your fridge door suggests, behind or beyond the stuff there is space… Thanks for writing this.

  17. Chris says:

    I absolutely LOVE Beverley’s contribution. Love the way it flows, love the different pictures and thought processes it creates. Really fell for the idea of spaces between lines on paper – I’ve never thought of it like that before. I have always been drawn to the limitless potential of an empty page but have always thought of filling the page – not the spaces between the lines. Beverley, you’ve changed lined paper for me for ever.

    Space and stuff certainly go together. In my household I constantly strive to create space and the minute I do someone else fills it with stuff.

  18. estragon007 says:

    Space is very important. If you keep animals – like chickens for example- in overcrowded conditions they will turn on each other.

    The UK has achieved this. It has in the southern half of the UK one of the highest population desities of the developed world. Space has therefore become valuable. Rich people have more of it than poor people. Sounds self evident that- but pause. Poor people hit each other more than rich people. Causality ?

    People become very territorial, they have disputes over boundaries of suburban gardens. The premium on space creates this.

    In heavily densely populated areas people are often very lonely- getting to know people is fraught with risk.

    In areas of the country with space complete strangers happily greet each other -and would be thought rude not to. In the country you know most folk – in towns you know few .

    You won’t be lonely in a village pub- but in a town pub you will.

    Space , or the lack of it ,creates these differences.

    Economists talk of the velocity of circulation of money – the more money moves the more demand is effectively created. Here in the Uk people are endlessly moving. not that many years ago people stayed put, worked locally and were buried next to folk they knew. And because of that everyone knew everyone else.

    Now people are endlessly on the move and this velocity of circulation of people increases relatively density. In doing that it also increases the anonimity of people- you don’t know if that bloke in the car is from the next street , the next village or from a 100 miles away. Movement makes strangers of strangers.

    Has this made life better ? Emphatically not.

    In my view the single plan that would improve all aspects of the Uk would be to reduce its population. The services could then cope. People would be better educated, less agressive , lower taxed and happier.

    We have no neighbours for a couple of miles in any direction. I commend it.

  19. One of the best tips I was given on displaying art work and so on well was to look at the spaces between – once you do that and get those right the work itself comes into focus. And so with life too. You gradually realise it’s in the spaces between the stuff of life where you grow into yourself. It works in more practical ways too. Like you, Karin, I am spatially challenged and the best piece of driving instruction I was given was to aim for the gaps when passing through parked cars etc.When we look at the gaps, we naturally get through, if we look at the obstacles we are likely to run into them.

    • Thanks, Tricia, for these comments and for taking me back in time and space. It’s nearly two years since I wrote this piece, and I find it nearly impossible to reread right now. I agree with all that you say. xx

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