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Time and Space

The importance of taking time for oneself in an uncertain era

Time and Space
Photography by Dave Hoefler

Lately, my definition of space has become about time—specifically, time in solitude. It has become the opportunity to tap into learning about what I need in order to grow. Physical space has become much less important. With the desire to pare down to only the essentials and a few other creature comforts, I am spending less time thinking about the physical condition of space and more time on the wider meaning of the term and what it can offer me.

It would seem to me that space is about taking the time to think about what really matters—to be with one’s thoughts and learn how to sit with them. Ideal space comes without shape, form, or measures to quantify it. It comes, rather, as an amorphous lump of clay which can be added or taken away from in order to be molded, or come back to at any time to chisel away at, refine, and remodel. This is about recharging, re-energizing, and gearing up to become a better person. And with space, you need time.

The essence of time and space does not necessarily need parameters or dimensions, especially in the context of healing. Healing takes as much time and space as it takes. To heal, one needs to give oneself permission to take up as much time and space as needed, and this should not be imposed upon by arbitrary metrics. The uncertainty is harsh, but there is comfort in learning that with time and space, the healing will come. Our aversion to this needs to change. In an unprecedented era when millions need, more than ever, to heal, the concept of taking time and space is imperative. If we don’t give ourselves this permission, another force will take on the decision on our behalf.

When we feel that we don’t have the resources to create room for this, we need to find a way to create it: make time for you, make space for you, however it may be and don’t be afraid of it. We must aspire to be our creators and curators of time and space that we cater to our humanity. For without time and space, we cannot see the good in ourselves. We cannot see the good in each other. We cannot see that we are all in this together. If we consider giving ourselves the time and space that we all need, and use it without haste, we might start to see the extraordinary in ourselves.

At the risk of sounding overly simplistic in the complex world we live in, or dismissive to anyone that struggles with this for good reason, as I have in my own way, I might suggest that engaging in a little time and a little space every so often, just to be who we are supposed to be, are some of the ingredients that lead us to peace. A peace that we need today as a matter of urgency. As humans, this is what we all are naturally in search of. And while this has no bearing on the actual etymology of the word, I can’t help but appreciate the word space encompasses the word pace, a form of the Latin borrowing, pax, literally meaning peace.

This is what we owe the self. This is what we owe the world.

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