Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Space Between

From: National Geographic.

Over the holiday I had the opportunity to join my friend's yoga class. She's such a good teacher that I transformed from feeling like a Christmas sausage into a sinuous being capable of anything. 

Yes, she's that good.  My feet were grounded.  I could feel energy gripping the mat through my heels and better yet, extending up through my core, through the density of interlaced scars and knotted tissue in my chest wall. There was a clean, clear stream line flowing along my arm that went through to the fingertips. And out.

As we slowed and folded into a meditative pose she suggested that we consider the space between breaths. Concentrate, she said, on the space between.

The space between. The phrase still resonates. I was like a child with a new toy, calling the words up and considering them or waiting, as they did one cold, crisp evening, to settle in my consciousness on their own accord. For every time those words land a sense of calm follows.  

The phrase works from the literal to the figurative. The space between is that glorious recess between Christmas and New Year's when the big events of the past year crystallize. The space between is a constant ebb and flow of life, as we navigate one day to the next, one challenge after another.  

For cancer survivors the space between can be highly charged or restorative. The space between can be time in between one treatment to the next. As Debbie Thomas wrote last week, it can be the time we need to to adjust, to reframe our identity from being a patient to being a "normal" working woman again.  

Cancer nipped my family badly this past year. There are times I suspect it will always be around, breathing down our necks. There were wounds and losses, recoveries and grief. The space between was an unexpected gift to me, to find my way with those losses, and discover my own way again. I hope you can find your space, too.

Wishing you love and all good things in this New Year,


katie ford hall said...

Love this, Jody. I hope you go to yoga more because you seem to really get it. We had this "space between" poem read at our wedding.


Beth L. Gainer said...

Jody, what a beautiful posting! "The space in between" concept really does have literal and figurative meanings, and we who have been affected by cancer totally understand it.

Thank you for an insightful posting. And keep up with the yoga!

Jody said...

Thank you, Beth! Thanks, Katie!

What was amazing to me is that the power of meditation is there, right in front of us. That I can still pull that feeling up - what two weeks later - is pretty amazing to me. Happiness, even contentment, usually seem so transitory. But this particular event must have embedded in my physically.

I hope I can continue the yoga, too. It's definitely on the agenda:)


AnneMarie said...

Yoga is the BEST gift I gave to myself when the bottom fell out and I was in another "space between" and I'm sort of still in that "space" .... I love the way my instructor has me pause between after inhaling and pause after exhaling to focus on that space between. Bring quiet into that space...

Thanks for being such a driving force and one that has brought me such a wonderful circle of friends.


Jody said...

Thank YOU, AnnMarie:) What you pointed out so beautifully in your post today is that we are a POSSE. We look out for each other. We notice when someone's missing. We worry. We seek them out and send virtual hugs. It's a gift like no other!

More on the power of the posse:

Annemieke said...

Hi Jody,

What a awesome post. You have an awesome way with words and you manage to put on paper what we al can related to. Just very happy the yoga worked out so well for you, it has been a rough year. Thanks again for sharing this with us, it was a pleasure reading it.. Big hug, Annemieke

Ann said...

Jody, this is beautiful and I know it will stay with me for quite some time. I don't think I've ever really paid attention to the space between, but I'll be savoring them from now on.

CancerCultureChronicles said...

Hmmmmm "The Space Between"...I'll be pondering on this. xxxxxx

Jackie Fox said...

I'm with Rachel, I'm going to be pondering this. So lovely. Thank you!!! xox

itsthebunk said...

Thank you for yet another beautiful post, Jody! I read it this morning and am still in its throes. Stay tuned...

Jody said...

There is a lot to ponder in these three words, I agree. I'm still thinking on it myself!

I'm so glad you all weighed in.

Patricia Parker said...

Wish you a very happy new year. My wishes and prayers for you.
breast cancer therapy

Nancy's Point said...

I love the phrase, "the space between." I think of it as breathing room before the next "what-ever-it-is thing I'll be dealing with," good or bad. Like you mentioned, I feel calmer just repeating those words. I'm going to try to do that more often.

The Accidental Amazon said...

I must be in a musical space between these days...

One of my fave, fave songs is "The Space Between" by Dave Matthews.

"The Space Between
the tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more"

We occupy so much and so many kinds of space between with cancer, don't we?

Love you, Jody.

Debbie said...

Ok, I ADORE this post. Just reading it has given me my one spot of calm today. I could actually feel myself breathe and start to look for the space between. This is a great game of reference for my mind and my heart and I hope to use it a lot to think about being in this moment that is the space between. I thank you for sharing this and glad you found your space between. Love, deb xx

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful phrase Jody - it reminds me of another word that resonates with me - liminal - being on the threshold of or between two different spaces.
Sometimes it can seem like nothing is happening for us but somewhere deep inside, something is taking place, something dissolving inside us and remaking us into something new. said...

"The space between" is indeed a poetic and thought provoking phrase. Whether we know it or not, I have a hunch we are constantly transitioning from one space to another. Be it yoga, God, family or nature, we need that one thing that grounds us and allows us to find our sense of calm.


Anonymous said...

Lovely post Jody. Thank you. Am enjoying it right now... the space between. Lovely.

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Jody said...

I really appreciate all of your comments and thoughts. I'm still resonating on this and grateful to see that all of you are as well.

This tells me how much room all of us have to take a leap toward those things we can't quite define; those spaces that are at the edge of consciousness. Modern life strips us of many things; I welcome back the contemplation of mystery.