MARGINS

Today is my sister's birthday. This post is shared with gratitude for the best sister a girl could ask for. Thank you for teaching me about the need for margins. They make all the difference. And... Happy Birthday Margie!! Where would we all be without you?

The Need For Space

Imagine a book in which the pages have no margins, or a photo where the image fills the frame with no space in which to sit.  The empty space is as important as the rest.  For it is the emptiness in which the words fill the page, the art the canvas, the photo the wall.  Without it the power of the words and beauty of the image is lost. Or at best, diminished. In order to be fully there, they have need of some  space.  So do we.  We have need of margins in which our lives can reside.

And yet.

The urge to fill my time with doing feels relentless, the willingness to simply stop and rest like a foreign language. Doing means I am getting somewhere. Doesn’t it?  Or in the constant going am I spinning my wheels, and in the doing am I coming undone. The ancient text says there is a time to work and a time to rest.

And yet.

How to find time in the midst of days that seem too short, calendars too full, the very real needs that press upon us, and the list that never ends? Like most things, it starts with one thing. Getting up thirty minutes earlier so as to linger over that first sacred sip of coffee.  (A no brainer.) Arranging my days more carefully. (Effort required) Shutting the door for thirty minutes of solitude in between meetings. (Often impossible)  Or maybe just five. (Usually doable)  Saying ‘no’ just once. (Scary at first, f-ing liberating as skill develops)  Not answering the phone just because it rings. (That’s an option?) Disconnecting from the internet so as to log on to my inner one. (Learning to surf all over again)

In order to write our stories well, to make something lovely of the lives we have, space is required. Margins can be as expansive as a silent retreat or sabbatical, as far away as a remote island, as close as a walk around the block, or as brief as a deep breath.

Where might a bit of space exist that is there for the taking?

  Photo by Tom Pierson

Photo by Tom Pierson

First posted in September 2014 on Matters That Matter