What Happens When You Change Spaces


February 1, 2018

Last week we left the country.

This was a good move. It did not hurt that it was enabled by great kindnesses from several people who provided the whole thing.

Yes, I am off schedule Publishing this week. Accidentally on purpose.

Occasionally you need to change spaces. Even if only small changes. Routine is good, like muscle memory. It helps you be efficient. But sometimes routine needs to be broken.

If you never change your routine, dullness lurks like the troll under the bridge.

  • Mind grows dull.
  • Body grows dull.
  • Emotions grows dull.
  • Vision grows dull.
  • Hearing grows dull.

Doing and seeing the same things day after day, month after month, year after year, has a negative effect on your life perspective – your vision. Without realizing it, you are semi-seeing and half-hearing. The background fades into monochromatic near-invisibility. I believe that space change stimulates physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life.

These too few days I have sat staring at the surf, white noise soothing my senses. (Dad used to say he did not like the ocean, because it was so restless. That’s not my reaction.)

Gazing over a peaceful little village, eyes drenched in green, sun penetrating heat into flesh and bone; combine to turn off the timers and make life more vivid again. Here is a grand change from the monochromatic ice and snow to which we are accustomed.

Such colors! Whoever heard of flowers splashing multi-hued eye therapy in January? The homes are modest, but owners do not have color shyness. Evidently it is not mandated here to minimize the palette to tans, grays, and browns.

An important part of changing space is bestowment of time to think and reflect. Allowing the noise of the mind to leak out opens space for more expansive perspective. The 90-minute massage we each experienced did not hurt either. (This at the 1/20th the price of such things in America.)

In our locale for the last several days, the clock almost does not matter, nor the calendar. I lost track of what day it was about 48 hours after we got here. I probably do not even know how that is helping me, but feeling better is a good indicator.

Viewing things that have never crossed your eyeball screens before stirs possibilities. Meeting people who live differently does the same while also stirring appreciation.

We have been dipped into simple life.

  • No chaos.
  • No hurry.
  • Peaceful sounds.
  • Birds, horses, cows.
  • Bright stars.
  • Smiling, unconcerned faces.

The other day we saw a young girl with a little table of jewelry available for sale on the beach. That’s called a job? To sit on the sand near the water, washed by the warm breeze, and seemingly without a pressure in the world?

On Parochialism

Most of us think of other groups of people as being parochial, but surely not ourselves. I believe it is a common human tendency to be parochial. You can find it anywhere you go.

  • We think the best.
  • We have the best.
  • We are the best.
  • Other people do not measure up.
  • Other places do not measure up.
  • The way we do it is the best way.

When we adopt these ways of thinking and acting, we miss big percentages of what God has for us. We end up not being able to see very well. Probably people here actually tend toward parochialism. What I am saying here applies to them as well then.

You are thinking that most of us cannot live regularly the way we have been living the past week. You are right. Responsibilities call for attention.

But do you ever change spaces? Inertia is easy:

  • Drive the same rut.
  • See the same sights.
  • Block out the same sounds.
  • Think the same thoughts.
  • Practice the same patterns.

Even if the new you’re experiencing is old to other people, this invigorates the spirit.

Jesus talked about new life. His Scripture talks about singing new songs. And one day there will be a new heaven and earth, where all things will have been made new. At that time there will be a continual newness about everything. Routine will not be known.

When you change your space you get a tiny glance at that.

[all photos by author]

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