Wednesday, December 11, 2013


A member of my book club challenged each of us to write a "This I Believe" essay for our December meeting, and several of us actually did it!  We had wonderful essays on the value of traveling to open the mind, of diversity in small towns, public education, and even the value of book club friends.  And, I wrote about my faith in space...

I believe in space…not so much in outer space as in space closer to home.  I believe in room, enough room to move around, stretch out, growing room. Adherents of space are both anti-clutter and anti-confinement. 

I believe every home should have a few empty cabinets, an empty drawer or two standing ready for whatever may come.  Closets stuffed to the gill bring on depression that is alleviated only by a purge.  Goodwill exists for the likes of me.

My deep faith in space makes it difficult to tolerate crowds, crawl through tunnels, work in a cubicle, share a double bed, or submit to an MRI.  Whenever possible, I will always choose the most spacious stall in any public restroom.  My worst nightmare involves anything hinting at being trapped.

I believe not only in physical space but also mental space.  Who doesn’t find delight in a spacious mind?  How does anyone function effectively in this confusing and confounding world without access to open spaces in their mind? I must fairly consistently step out of my beliefs, opinions, attitudes and perspectives in order to breathe, not to mention learn anything new and refreshing.

I believe in spiritual space, wide-open spiritual space.  Perhaps my space craving is rooted in an intense desire for expansion.  I like to wake up each day knowing there is room for more…not more stuff, god forbid, but for more awareness, consciousness, acceptance and yes, even love.

Confinement and clutter shut me down.  Nothing feels better than breaking free of a cocoon, an outdated restrictive belief, a prison of my own making, a dogma that has kept me in chains.  I run from orthodoxy as if it were the pox.

The older I get, the more space I crave.  Space, being tantamount to freedom, leaves Life’s door wide open.  No boundaries.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Scores of churches have embarked upon Advent in preparation for Christmas.  Celebration is in the air.  Lights and music and glitter pop up everywhere.  I, on the other hand, hunker down.

What calls to me this time every year is solitude and contemplation in preparation for New Year’s Day.  Every year, following Thanksgiving, I find myself drawing within, shutting down, and spinning a protective cocoon.  Winter weather is a great facilitator for curling up and hibernating. I have work to do, deep inner work.

Introspection, reflection, observing and watching, waiting and standing back all seem the most appropriate and helpful response to year’s end.  Speaking for myself, Christmas is more a distraction that must be endured.  I do as little for Christmas as I can get away with.   The week between Christmas and New Years is both deliciously somber and sacred. 

I never go out on New Years’ Eve.  It is the night before everything starts over, new chapters are begun, fresh calendars fill with blank pages; everything is wide open.  It has little to do with religion, and everything to do with spaciousness, hope and faith.  I want to be ready.