Say a word enough, it loses all meaning. These past three months in homes, hospitals, businesses and communities, space has been rendered sacred, scarce and semantically satiated.
Space yourselves. Give me space. We’re running out of space. Make space. I need my space. There’s no space for you. I don’t have a safe space. All in the same space. Space to think. Space to act. Equal space. Prominent space. Rethink the space. Hold space.
Losing sight of the meaning can feel unsettling, leading us to seek new words to define. Alignment with the familiar ignores the full potential of the word by attributing its expression to another, limiting context and stunting the growth of awareness.
Perhaps the lapse in immediate access to definition is an invitation to reconsider what we want a word to mean, what we make a word mean, why we make the choices we do and how we might proceed more intentionally with the engagement.
Consider the broad variety of definitions available for these five letters and their relationship to this time:
a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied:
So much potential in the spaces unfilled, demonstrated in the rejuvenation of natural habitats with the time spent unoccupied
the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move:
We might ask for our own space, see our space as separate and unique, but ultimately, we are sharing space with the world and all its inhabitants.
the physical universe beyond the earth's atmosphere:
For the first time since 2011, a shuttle launched from US soil, through a company called SpaceX to the Space Station, extending the concept of distancing.
the portion of a text or document available or needed to write about a subject:
Finding enough room on the page to share our thoughts, honor our experience, document our reflections. Prioritizing the words most needed when facing a limited resource.
the freedom and scope to live, think, and develop in a way that suits one:
All the more precious in this time of shelter-in-place, with distractions removed and confinement enforced, finding ways to optimize that within when the external feels so restrictive.
position (two or more items) at a distance from one another:
We've become experts at six feet of spacing, the importance of margin illustrated and the challenge of connection over distance emerges.
be or become distracted, euphoric, or disoriented, especially from taking drugs; cease to be aware of one's surroundings:
How might we space out? With assistance or simply through the influence of strange time.
Which space do you choose? How will you define it? Are you willing to take a new view? Hear from another how they experience space?
Is it safe? Held for others? Does it have room for all?
Will you share space openly and hold your own boundaries?
Will you defend the space and honor those in it, recognizing continuity beyond gravity and divisions at the ground level?
May we see the potential through interpretation left open, stepping into our greatest potential space and consider what we will make it mean.