On an Island, How Much Space Can a Person Take Up, and Who Decides?


In the interest of phasing out of mundane holiday and pet posts, and into more philosophical terrain as  I said I wanted to do, here it is. It's also a bit of a biting commentary on Iceland today, so let the first part lull you until you get to the juicy stuff towards the end. (All and any commentary welcome, here or privately - which is how most of my readers contact me: icelandeyes@gmail.com). Here we go: 

Let's talk about space, and how much of it any one of us gets to take up at any given time. 

I'd like to keep time out of this altogether, but the two seem to be intricately entwined. Which should come first, though, is up to debate. Current theory of the space-time continuum says that matter/mass in space is, surprise surprise, affected by time. Time-space theory states that time is slowed or altered by space, or more specifically, mass in space. 

The whole space thing seems to depend on the idea of what's in it. We have a really hard time with the concept of nothing, and of course, ironically, have to have something to measure the nothing by. Mass does that for us, keeps us sane, I suppose. We can only reference our reality by how we experience it ourselves. We can no more imagine a truly spacey space that we can a box without walls. It's impossible, really. Either there is something to measure or there isn't. Enough said.

Space, though, as in the space you or I take up in our specific societies, that's what we'll take a turn at today. There's the personal bubble that surrounds each of us, elbow room as the mericans put it, or that thin sheath of me-ness that coats those in more crowded Asian lands. The thickness varies, the amount of you that accompanies you through all your live-long days. Some call it an aura, others your soul, and a scientist might tutt-tutt and say well, actually, it's merely the electromagnetism that each of us emit at any given time, and that's all. 

Maybe it's prana wrapping around us after an exhale, or an angel's wings cloaking us in safety. Call it what you will. Give it the dimensions you'd like to give it and the qualities it should have to match your needs. It's there, we all know it, and most especially when it's weak, or nearly gone. That's how to feel excruciatingly raw and vulnerable, more so that being literally naked on any given day. 

Without this covering, this protection, we're only our bared psyches, personal electromagnetic fields devastated. It's as if out angel's wings have been clipped by a jealous demon, like it's karmic payback time. We feel forsaken and totally, totally flayed. In that state a crude whispered suggestion slices, a harsh word lands like a fist on your raw being, a look burns your exposed private skin. Unclothed and unbuffered we are like grubs, and it's my opinion that ultimately even the best survival gear couldn't protect us from the onslaught of reality the way our most precious auric bubble does, unbidden, every day that we're alive.  

So how much space can we take up, and who decides? How much can we allow our personal protective energy fields to expand? If you're in a world like ours, on our island floating in the stormy seas with enough empty to go around, enough for every searching soul and every stunted farmer and his diligent flocks, for every inbreed and expat, refur and refuge-seeker, tourist and ptarmigan, for even herds of reindeer to roam, there should be plenty of space to grow. 

We aren't Siam, we aren't on now-fertile floodplains eked out of deserts and impacted with the desperate and needy, we aren't in the billions. If you gathered all the natives we'd fit into a teaspoon but somehow we can't allow each other the room to expand our Selves as we'd personally like to. We all take part in this village-style sit-down-and-shut-upness via silent judgement, bile-green gossip, actionless concern-from-a-distance, and that special kind of worry for an Other that may just be jealousy in disguise. 

I say go out and give someone a hug, close the attitudinal distance between us all by closing the actual distance between our physical forms. Write your opinions and judgements and hates and falsely-named concerns on a piece of paper, then crumple it up and throw it in the trash before those negs rot you from the inside. Be an example by letting grace find you, gently and in waves. Save your own soul by allowing your worries to float away, then give others the space to do, in their own way, and in their own time, the same...

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