Saturday, January 31, 2009

Zwischenraum (the Space Between Things)

The space between is air, light, silver, shadow. It is silence, solitude, alienation.

Feeling the space strips you down to bone and nerve. The silence oppresses once your ears forget what sound feels like; the darkness terrifies when your eyes strain to remember light. But when, finally, the scream has boiled up from inside you, and shattered the silence, you don't feel the space any more. A flash of light is enough to bring back your skin and muscle and organs and blood, because the space only has power when you cannot see the things the space lies between. You feel distance when the wind freezes your skin and you cannot even see the building you must walk to; you feel alienation, the space between souls, when the person you tried to know is no longer even imaginable.

You feel the space between things when some particular thing won't come. But really, there is no space between things. Even air and light have substance. Sunlight burns, wind shoves. Everywhere, photons are flying, oxygen and carbon dioxide are swarming. Even if I slip between the lines of a poem, the paper is pregnant with meaning. Pay attention. No space is empty of things. It is merely empty of things we care about. There is space between the things we notice.

[from a free-writing last October]

No comments: