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The space in which it happens

In music, the space between the notes is what creates the melody—the beauty is found in the in-between space. This is true in any creative modality, as the writer Max Frisch wrote, “What is important is what cannot be said, the white space between the words.” Visual artists often talk about the importance of space….and the "negative space," the space that lies around the figure, is often more important than the figure itself. In Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards writes:

"…the negative spaces…require the same degree of attention and care that the positive forms require. Beginning students generally lavish all their attention on the objects, persons, or forms in their drawings, and then sort of 'fill in the background.' It may seem hard to believe at this moment, but if care and attention are lavished on the negative spaces, the forms will take care of themselves."

In order to learn (or to create), some part of us must be willing to submit to something unknown, something larger than ourselves. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have any learning or creating to do, because we already know it. In short, we need a “third space” to learn within. Creativity can be thought of as a process of opening up space that we didn't know was available to us.

In Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle wrote: “Most people confuse the Now with what happens in the Now, but that’s not what it is. The Now is deeper than what happens in it. It is the space in which it happens.”

May you find space in unexpected places today.

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