We want to fill up what is empty. Our lives stay very full. And when we are not blinded by busyness, we fill our inner space with guilt about things of the past or worries about things to come. Henri Nouwen
Space. A vast frontier. No, not Star Wars. More like room to wander about, in the cosmic expanses… in my mind. And yes, these wanderings are best discovered in silence, sans distractions and disruptions—the norm of normal times.
So as we begin the emergence or resurrection back to some kind of normal, I wonder: will I still create time for making space—that room to ponder and delight in the magical mystery tour… in my mind?
The operative words in this little litany of thought are “in my mind.” Yesterday, for example, I toured the regions of my youth—literally. I left the house, drove thirty miles to Pico Rivera and Whittier, where I was raised until about 20.
I passed by my youth baseball field where I hit a home run that appeared as if it cleared the high-rise power lines; my elementary school, middle school, and high school; the more than 60-year-old fine dining restaurant Steak ‘n Stein; and old Whittier Boulevard where I once “cruised” entire nights, radio blaring to the sounds of Thee Midnighters swooning That’s All, as well as the Beatles, interrupting our allegiance to soul music with ditties like I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
And all the while my cruising of the old—like, very old—haunting grounds (or is it hunting grounds?) of my splendid youth, I continued to find myself… in my mind. Memories of old love, youth sports, daring antics with friends, and prices paid. I am not sure if the jaunt was a physical one or more like an opportunity to remember emotions, the ecstasies and angsts of the very young.
I returned home singing the more than 65-year-old jingle of Stanley Chevrolet by Molly Bee—Stanley, Stanley, Stanley Chevrolet, 2 blocks of the Santa Ana Freeway, 11980 E. Firestone, Stanley Chevrolet. The jingle saturated my thoughts until this morning.
Yes, the one thing quarantine could not quarantine is… my mind—still predisposed to imagination and curiosity, all of which cannot be discovered without room or Space, a grand commodity often disrupted by the “tyranny of the urgent.”
I guess I fear going back to the way things were. I fear filling my new-found space with worries and stresses and anxieties, defaulting to mindless activity and in doing so… losing space… in my mind.
What We All Need
Is a Bit of Space
Photo courtesy of tomap49 at istockphoto