Already been there…

Michael Herman posted something to get us thinking on the oslist today.

It also may help explain open space to people who are not getting it.

“but i’m going to suggest — especially to all of the “never-been-in-it” and “would love to try it someday” folks out there on the list — that we have all already been there.

“let’s start with the law of two feet, which seems to be the core of everything.

“having “been in open space” many times, i can say that it was a familiar place. the freedom and responsibility are not unlike when i went away to college. power, possibility. not unlike when i am solo hiking in the backcountry, bounded by my physical limits, for sure, but able to go wherever my two feet would take me, to learn about a territory and contribute to reaching some destination that i chose for myself.

“it’s not unlike any vacation where i leave teh computer and phone at home. not unlike the small space of an airline seat, where my range might be severely limited, in at least one dimension, but mind is free to wander and relax as it chooses. not unlike the time after a resignation but before actually leaving a job.

“sleeping in has a certain spacious quality for me, bucking the pressure of a world that says work starts early. staying up late has a certain quality. stopping in at churches or rivers or other quiet places when travelling. sitting at outside cafe’s in the summer time, even better with a sunday newspaper.

“in all of these places, there is a quality of being active and doing nothing. and these are just a few of the examples that come to mind. so i wonder… where else have you (and probably many others of us) already been there???

“not to mention the four principles, which i often summarize as “how things work when they really work.” what ordinary life conditions and circumstances might remind you of the states that these lines remind us about???

“as i look outside, there is a raging blizzard here in chicago. my wife’s flight out to a big client meeting was cancelled, at 5am this morning. suddenly the whole of chicago and a bunch of places connected by planes and phones and the like are running on “whenever it starts” or “whenever you can get here” …is the right time. i’ve experienced a similar shift in other storms, like having my dad in the hospital for heart surgeries, when we actively take things one day, one moment, at a time. like one step at a time when hiking.

“thinking spatially or kinesthetically for a moment, it seems more about stacking and scrambling than ladders and climbing.

“so i’m wondering if we can say some more about where it is that we’ve all already been in open space. where does or has space already open in life as you’re living it?