The space between The tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more The space between The wicked lies we tell to keep us safe from the pain
I sit in my car at a stop light with the laughter of my little ones behind me, tears streaming down my face. Tears sometimes are the echo of the heart not specifically pointing in any direction but somehow facing inward, reminding us that there is something warm beating within us. Tears are not always tales of sadness or remorse but are sometimes stories of healing, of potential, of a glorious birth that is about to take place.
In my mind I stop and look forward yet behind me. I see the desolation, the destruction, the wreckage of what could have been. I see the wisps of black smoke rising above the moments in my life where fear had sheltered me from one storm only to create a far more destructive one. I see the litter strewn about my life and the burned out shells of books that could have been so beautifully written and read. I see the partially burned out pages moving with the dust devils of my memories, roughly being jostled from one resting place and swirling upward violently before coming to rest in another.
These swaths of living hell are not all I see even if they are the first things that have captured my attention. Wounds will do that to you. Those pieces of yang will distract you from the pieces of yin that also lie in this path. In order to see them you must learn to look beyond what time and conditioning have taught you to see and then you must open your arms to embrace it all. This isn’t about rejecting the periods of darkness that have kept you company in your nights, it is about embracing the light that comes in the spaces between. It is then about realizing that the darkness truly comes only in the spaces between the light. It is then about accepting both as a part of your day, part of the moment that is you.
I then saw the fields of flowers interspersed in the charred remnants of my moment. I began to hear the singing of birds above the crackling of burning embers and the life dancing about in my story. I could begin to feel the love above the ashes, and smell the fragrance of the roses, the carnations and the orchids. I could feel Life in it all and I smiled through the tears as the laughter of my little ones echoed around a mind no longer dulled by the numbness of a dream only I could create.
I could see the black clouds adorning a full, blue sky and realized that yes, the moon does shine during the day too. The tides go high and then low just as life ebbs and it flows. We don’t measure the tides by the height of the sand yet I have chosen to measure my life by the abundance of sadness. What if I was to measure it by the presence of love; focusing on the area of flowers and of the mellow beauty in the songs of the nature around me? What if instead of seeing the patches of destruction I saw the vast areas of loving awesomeness that made them so noticeable? What if I changed my focus, changed what was the space between?
The space between Where you smile and hide That’s where you’ll find me if I get to go
What if I choose to let go? What if I chose to act on that feeling I have when I look into her eyes? What if I chose to smell the roses instead of running from the dying flames of a past that is no longer there? What if I simply held her hand instead of thinking about then? What if I decided to dive into her, to walk that distance that separates us and erase that space between? What if I kissed her into a smile, coaxed her from her hiding place or simply went there with her? What if I…
…acted a little less like a boy beaten and a young man faulted and more like the being I want to be?
The questions mount, filling up the space between the gaps in my breath. I look at my empty hand and I wonder what it would be like if her fingers filled the space between my own. I wonder what would happen if there was no space between our lips, our mouths, our bodies. I can imagine the beauty in the space between our footprints in the sand as we walk hand-in-hand kicking the foamy surf forward. I wonder about the beautiful realization that occurs in the space between our eyes as we look into each other’s soul, and in the space between the heartbeats we share in a long, loving embrace.
I wonder about the words we could write in the space between our story of now and our story of tomorrow and, yes, I wonder about the space between my story of then and the moment we are sharing. My mind circles around the space between the rising and the setting sun, and the darkness that comes in the space before the sun rises again. I also wonder if I would ever know the sun if it wasn’t for that darkness, or notice the beauty of my life without the ugliness. I wonder if I would ever know the beauty of a loving hand in my own if not for its absence.
We’re strange allies With warring hearts What a wild-eyed beast you be
I can hear the endless fights and the countless debates about things. Things. I can feel the intimacy slip through the spaces between wrong and right, of listening and talking. I can hear the striking of the arson’s match setting the artist’s canvas on fire and the writer’s book to flame. I can hear the tears as the breath escapes our very mouths, and hear the fingers part as our hands fall to our sides and our gazes turn from what could have been.
I can sense it coming. Isn’t the testament of devotion and of love the beginning of the storm? Isn’t the wounded mind wracked by what it has seen surely cursed to war with the very heart it seeks to know and to love? Isn’t a bruised heart like the broken mast of a floundering ship in a raging storm sure to sink in the sea of its own devices? Isn’t a tired body sure to burn in the fires the mind has set?
Or are those things the very beginning of rebirth we seek? Isn’t it just a matter of awareness, of seeing the opportunity to embrace the beauty and be reborn? Is it just a matter of seeking something different?
The space between the stories of my life gives me enough room to experience it just as the space between the sky and the ground gives us enough room to fly. A horn blows from a car behind me allowing me to realize that the space between the red and green light at this intersection has allowed me to find some clarity in an otherwise hectic morning. I look in my rear-view mirror at my little ones in the back seat and notice the space between the tear on my cheek and the smile on my lips.
Perhaps we find our greatest experiences in the space between. Perhaps we find our wisdom there. Maybe we begin to realize our own truths as we begin to realize the spaces between. Maybe the greatest parts of who we are resides in the spaces between the illusions and delusions we have created about who we are. Maybe my soul has always been singing the words I now hear in my mind spreading across my soul like the light from the Sun cresting above the morning horizon.
The space between What’s wrong and right Is where you’ll find me hiding Waiting for you