The paths we follow through life seem to be self-determined, crafted from deep thought and consideration. Carefully groomed and plotted, they take use from where we are to the next destination. We know where we are going and the most effective and efficient way to get there. Except when we don’t.
Negative space is art terminology that describes the spaces not filled in with color or design. They are the open spaces that often define those more deliberate lines, brushstrokes, carvings.
What happens when you lean into the negatives spaces? When the spaces between become the path you follow?
I think about the ways that dandelions find the cracks in the walls, in the sidewalks, along the sides of the road, plant themselves deeply and blossom–spreading both their roots and their seeds to ensure that they thrive.
I think about the blue that is visible through the openings in the clouds, where the sun seeps through and warms our shoulders and relaxes our minds.
I spy the scented geraniums hiding between the spiky arms of the aloe vera, soft pink flowers intertwined with the sharp spines of the succulent.
I notice the children who lay low, distinguishing themselves by the ways they blend in, quietly doing what they need to while others stand out, spreading their brilliant plumage like colorful peacocks.
But I know that these negative spaces are not negative, not less than, not inferior. These are spaces waiting to be defined by the traveler, marked as the feet step on this road less traveled. There are many paths that lead to fulfilling and successful lives…so why do so many insist that we all follow a single pre-determined path?
Let’s remember that sometimes the right path is the one that is yet to be discovered.
Spaces: open gaps.
Places to breathe