From The Background Story: We Write the Stories You Will Never Tell Vol. 2 Ch. 2 P. 16.
We were going too fast but not getting anywhere.
We moved only when we stopped.
If you really want to get somewhere, and I mean somewhere, not across town to your dentist appointment or to the grocery store before closing, maybe you need to stop.
My husband and I have always admired the phrase Mind the Gap—the three-word warning used in the London underground to alert commuters about the space between a subway car and the platform.
The phrase says all it needs to say in the fewest possible words. Mind the gap is succinct perfection.
I remembered it last week when I read a blog post on SuzeMuse entitled The Spaces Between. Suze muses about an art teacher from school who told her that “drawing is not about the lines and shapes you’re making. It’s about the spaces between the lines and shapes. If you pay attention to those spaces, you’ll be a better artist.”
When it comes to drawing and subway car riding, we have to mind the gaps.
And when it comes to life we have to mind the gaps, too.
We think our lives are all about the people we surround ourselves with, the houses we live in or the appointments we keep. But the spaces between all those people and houses and appointments are important, too. Not only important, but necessary. “The space between is what connects everything,” Susan says.
When we really look at a flower, or just sit with someone who needs a friend, or prayerfully meditate—those are the moments that connect everything. Those are the moments when we can feel the undercurrent of oneness in the universe.
A tale of two buildings
I am part of a guided meditation group that meets monthly at my church. Each month the week prior to our gathering, Ellie sends an e-mail message to the regular attendees, reminding them of the meditation time and requesting an RSVP.
Last fall was a particularly busy time for one of our regulars. He replied to Ellie’s message from a business trip in another country to let her know that he was travelling and in and out of meetings. His message showed his stress and preoccupation with the busy-ness of his life.
Ellie responded saying, “Sorry to hear that you can’t make it. But wherever you are, right now, take three deep breaths.” A short time later, she received a reply: “I did what you said. I stopped and took three deep breaths. You know, the building I’m in is really beautiful.” Continue reading