Every second month Anna shares her musings, personal insights, and observations of our diverse lives.
Space – be it personal space, the figurative concept, or literal outer space where the stars and planets live – is not something we should take for granted.
The ability of a mere human to fathom the breadth and depth of outer space is limited. As Star Trek states it is ‘the final frontier’. Stephen Hawking has said “I think the human race doesn’t have a future if it doesn’t go into space.”
Whereas figurative space – the concept or idea of space – has been a fascination of humankind for as long as we’ve existed. Philosophers have written about it, artists have created and recreated it, and many a TV series and film has been made about it.
“Man must rise above the Earth — to the top of the atmosphere and beyond — for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.” — Socrates
Starry Night – Van Gogh
Humans are naturally curious, but given the chance I don’t think many would actually choose to travel out into the stars. So then what is so captivating about the great unknown?
I think our fascination with outer space and our reluctance to travel there are, in fact, a very personal thing. We value our own personal space –- that area around us where we feel uncomfortable if another gets too close without consent. The personal space that we need to revive, relax and re-energise in is so important to us that we often don’t want to risk losing it
Perhaps we also inherently fear the unknown. Regardless of all the literature, art and film delving into our ideas about space, we don’t truly know what it’s like to be out there ourselves, and that can be frightening.
In a similar manner it can be a challenge to enter into a relationship where personal space and our ability to relax and re-energise can significantly change. If we’re not used to sharing our space this can cause some expected discomfort.
I have recently ended a relationship and, through this process, I realise how much of my own space I shared and sacrificed. So now, it is enjoyable and very necessary to utilise my personal space for the purpose of reviving and recovering.
Space is all around us – we need it, we seek it, we’re fascinated by it. We dream and write prose about it.And we are cautiously skeptical about it too.