The Art of Separation: The Spaces Between You and Me

Sometime during the 1900s, Mr. Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.” If that is so, then is solitude the space between you and me?

What are spaces? What is that seemingly vacant three-dimensional point between you and me and everything else in the world? Is it really empty?

Spaces.

For a moment, let us abandon all the laws of physics and astronomy, and whatever scientific maxims and physical improbabilities there are that articulately layout roughly ten million reasons why it is highly impossible for us to simply stretch out our hands a little and touch the sky. Now, say we woke up one day and found the stars, and the planets, and the cosmos dangling and dancing three feet away from our heads—so close that when you breathe stardust tickles your nose. How marvelous would it be to find the seemingly unconquerable expanse finally conquerable? If only it were truly that marvelous.

Spaces. 

It is the spaces between humanity and the stars that make the universe’s infinitude an ungraspable paradox compelling even the ordinary to look up and see its own origins in the starlight. These spaces subtly create a sense of balance in a painting. It is the natural art of separation that makes the heavens heavenly, and it exists between you and me, and that is why these spaces are not really empty.

Separation, like all human experiences, is a varying hue of colors. For some, it is sitting in the family table with familiar faces inside a house you cannot call a home. While for others, it is waking up each day and cradling a void where genuine relationships ought to be—that is to say instead of making the effort of nurturing authentic human connections, we would rather build around our loneliness a wall of social media façades, booze, and quick-fix solutions that do more harm than good.

Why are we so afraid of being alone? 

What if we didn’t view separation as isolation, and alone as being lonely, but rather a time to know ourselves, to grow, to bask in the few moments of a long, beautiful life that you can call yours and no one else’s—regardless of how brief the moment may be. How different, how meaningful, would we see our time on earth to be? 

Dear reader, it is the spaces between you and me, the natural art of separation, that makes our relationships, with ourselves and with others, more profound and precious. Because it is in these spaces where we find ourselves, and that is why these spaces are not really empty.