Imagine sitting at a table on a rooftop patio across from the best friend you haven’t seen in more than a year, talking about your passions, priorities, personal and professional aspirations. Imagine that just being in the same space with this person unlocks the perspective that has been lurking on the fringes of your consciousness for weeks now. (Unlocks it in a way that only a Locker can.) Imagine a conversation that allows you to examine yourself in every word that cascades over the table between the two of you.
This is where I found myself just less than a year ago. Immersed in talk that inevitably came around to our writers’ lives and the inherent struggles in our writers’ processes: When a novel becomes overwhelming in the many directions it can take… When a story can’t seem to find a way to its own ending… When the details get caught up in a brain-based reality… When not writing builds up like a toxin in the bloodstream, overflowing like a hormonal imbalance… We write anyway, we both confess.
“Because writing today makes space for tomorrow’s idea.”
I had no idea that this single phrase would rule my life since that rooftop drink. Making space. What an idea. And here it is a tangible form: a new blog, a making space. A place to write in order to make space for the unexpected. A place to capture ideas in the making. A space for finding momentum. For ideas that need a place to rest. For getting one idea out of the way of another that has yet to take shape. A space for finding a focus through motion, action through writing.
And since that summertime epiphany, this whole idea–this making space–has taken on even greater meaning. Because it’s not just about writing; it’s a way of life.
Imagine you have a list of home improvements, possibilities to tackle while home for the weekend. A list that includes minor and major remodels, multiple trips to the hardware store, and various projects, all requiring some serious investment. Oh, and your handy spouse is out of town. Does this make the list unmanageable? Only until you apply the theory of making space. It doesn’t matter how big the project; it just has to get out of the way.
So this day’s project: moving the swing set we’ve had since Cami was two.
Move it from the middle of the backyard to the side, overlapping the fence to serve as a bridge to a playground that is so much larger now than the yard on this side of the fence. Take off all the “accessories”: slide, ladder, rock climbing ladder, beam to hold the swings.
Pivot, pivot, pitch and pivot. Bolts loosened, land leveled, dirt dugout. Pivot, pivot, pitch, and pivot. We can do this! And with this done, who knows what doing this, making this happen, will make room for out of our tomorrow. Whatever it is, we’ve made space for it. Our list is a little shorter, and so whatever comes to inevitably take its place, we’ve made room for it.
And, we’ve made something more of our physical space in the process. A glorified fire escape. A place where my girl can once again feel like she’s on top of the world. A new way of looking at something we’ve taken for granted. So this space, this making place, is a new challenge to all of us. What unexpected opportunities are just waiting for the space?