Space and Place



My college English seminar on Space and Place majorly impacted how I take in the world around me. We dissected poems, prose and pop culture for ways the author/creator used space to create or enhance a work. Another way of relating space and place is physical – the most cultural example is the “space bubble.” A space bubble is considered the distance people maintain between their body and another person. ‘Mericans (people from the U.S.) are notorious for having the largest space bubbles – cuz we’re spoiled with space. Do you ever notice yourself backing away from someone on instinct? Space and Place.

(Uno) 1. A great lecture series available online: LearnersTV. While not every lecture can be related to space and place, one lecture sparked this notion in my mind.

(Due) 2. Finding hidden gems in colleague’s interests. My colleague Gene (of volcanic photo fame), is also interested in the way he can relate scientific theory to everyday living. During a discussion, he mentioned “the way energy pushes against the wall” – but we don’t even feel it. I LOVE thinking about perspective and how we relate everything back to our human-ness. How else could we relate, right?

(Tre) 3. Keeping this Friday stream of consciousness running, the point I am making is that if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear the sound, it is not a sound. The waves that a person would hear as sound are just air disturbance. But that air disturbance still has an effect on the world – so I like to say that the tree does still make a sound. What do you say when people pose that question to you?

(Quattro) 4. You may be thinking that this list is not very Italian, (and you want to hear about Italy, darnit!) but remember that many great thinkers (ahem, Galileo), and writers (ahem, the guys who wrote the Odyssey (yes, it wasn’t just Homer)) spent oodles of time here thinking about these big picture ideas, too. Take a step onto the journey with me.

(Cinque) 5. “Lean into it” is a phrase that I hear running through my head from time to time when I feel an uncomfortable emotion. Instead of backing away from it and seeking comfort in isolation, food, drink or a snuggly hug, sometimes you have to “lean into” the emotion to find any clarity. Can we apply that to the icky feeling that makes us withdraw when someone is inside our “space bubble?” Try it next time – take a step toward that person, put your hand on her arm or his elbow, align at the hip but open your body.

Happy weekend! Buon fine settimana!



Filed under 5-100

2 responses to “Space and Place

  1. Yes to backing away/not getting too close. I don’t even realize I’m doing it, but recently saw evidence of it in pictures. I’m tempted to post them but I’m obviously not alone in them and I’m not asking these particular people for permission to put photos of them on the internet.

    I liked the theme where your stream of consciousness took you on this one.

    • I try and have fun with it now that I have the situational awareness. Sometimes I lean even closer into a close-talker, until that person backs away from me. We all have limits, it is fun to play around with them.

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