So I am repurposing another post; one I wrote on September 25, 2011 in fact. And it is all about the need to fill up empty spaces. I picked this post from the archives for it struck a chord in me. For the past few weeks, I have been taking my son for driving practice. And just last week, he reminded me of one thing I used to do consciously when I first started driving; maintain a distance between me and the car ahead of me – while on the move as well as when stopped at lights (enough where we can see the back wheels of that car).
So while I still do maintain some distance, it is not always at those specific points. And my son’s comment reminded me of this post I wrote long ago, and of that question I had (and still do)! Note that this first section below is the revived post while the rest is part of my updated new one.
Why is There a Need to Fill Empty Spaces?
I am asking this because every time I drive, I strive to have a big empty space ahead of me (distance at count of 1000,2000,3000 as in the DMV books!). I do this so I can safely come to a stop or lower speed when needed – mind you, I am also the driver, who when am right in the front at a traffic light or stop sign, move from 0 to speed limit (not more than that anytime) very soon and leave the other cars literally eating my dust which leads my kids to think I am a Lightning McQueen!
This big empty space does not stay empty for too long or too often as someone merges in pretty soon when they see it – tempting to fill that space. And I googled this and found someone had researched traffic waves – totally interesting!
On the other hand, though I do not mind empty spaces in traffic or around home (I actually like the openness of empty spaces at home sometimes), I oftentimes dread empty spaces in conversations and a lot of people who know me will attest to that. I tend to fill up empty spaces with lots of words – some useful, some delightful, and others not so much. Mostly, I just need a conversation starter to start me and off I go! That said, I do crave silences too; and love listening to – well, nothing.
Note: Googling empty spaces brought me to another interesting article that talks about the energy of empty spaces (source: Edge.org).
Talking about empty spaces at home….
Since I first wrote this post, Marie Kondo has made an appearance and kind of moved off from the trending things in life. Of course, this past year and a half has had us humans occupied with other things; and maybe, we have all either freed up and cleared up our homes we have been holed up in for the last many months of clutter; or maybe, we have occupied ourselves with adding to creative knick-knacks as we explored new hobbies and talents!
What about you? Which of these things did you do? Clear up the clutter and create space; or create cool handmade knick-knacks to fill up the spaces?? I did a bit of both! So I created space by clearing things up and then filled some of those empty spaces with things we created (including my kiddos – like these paintings below!)
White Space in Poetry
Today’s Poetic Sunday is not about a specific form but following the earlier part of my scribblings talks about empty spaces; or rather white space in poetry. I talked about white space being one of the reasons I love novels in verse in an earlier post.
What is White Space in Poetry?
White space is the emptiness between the characters, words, lines and stanzas of your poem. It is all those parts of the page that is free of text or images, and that helps serve as a guide to your reader to what is written (or left unwritten).
Why and How of White Space
White space in written work is critical; and the right amount of white space can add value and beauty to the written work. While I have provided additional reading resources and links in the next section, and hope to add more helpful downloads for you to use with this, for now, here is one ‘poem’ I wrote titled White Space that is my attempt to explain a bit of the why and how of white space – visually!
- I love this term for white space – functional white! It truly is so very functional. Functional White: Crafting Space & Silence (from PoetryFoundation)
- Loved this article – The White Space in Poetry – about white space and the examples provided are so very creative too.
On My Blog
Since my last Sunday Scribbling (which was a while ago now!), here are the posts. I have not really been an active UBCer this time around (have one post for every two days; actually 11 for the last 22)
- Great Bookish Gifts For Dad on Father’s Day
- A Voyage Through Time Within the Wondrous World of Words
- 10 Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences
- The Healing Power of Love and Nature
- Will’s Words: Or The Wondrous Words of Will
- Mango and Peppercorns: A Wonderful Combination
- Magic Monday – A Little Music to Lift Moods & Worry Worries
- Reflecting on the A2Z Challenge While Working on Another
- Top Ten Wonderful Recent Reads And Their Six Word Reviews
- Hurricane Summer Blog Tour: Book Review + Interview With Asha Bromfield
- Sunday Scribblings #70: Laughter is the Best Medicine
On the Home Front
The school year is almost coming to an end; and for my firstborn, it is the very end of his high school as well. He will be off to college in the fall, and I am not sure how ready we are for that (well, we – as in the parents!) While both my teens had hoped to ignore each other very coolly on the school campus for the whole year, my daughter managed to avoid her older brother at lunchtime for the four days they were on campus together!
My son went back to remote learning after two weeks of in-person as he had no friends (and he only went the second week because he felt the teachers were happy to see them at school). My daughter on the other hand is continuing a mixed-learning schedule for the remaining part of the school year (well, she has enough friends coming in).
On My Blog and Home Front
I have plans, and I hope to work on them 🙂 both on my blog and the home front. You will see as the days unfold (hopefully, fingers crossed and toes too)
This Week’s Celebrations
The Literary and Close-to-it Celebrations
- Should Geek Pride Day (celebrated on May 25th annually) be in this section? Or in any of the other? Well, I am leaving it here for now. Am I a geek? Are you one? We can each of us confirm that by checking out the questions at the website!
- And did you know that Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001)!?
- The birthdays this week… The 25th of May celebrates Raymond Carver, Robert Ludlum, and Ralph Waldo Emerson among many others. May 26th: Simon Armitage; the 27th of May celebrates John Cheever while May 28th shakes and stirs us with it being Ian Fleming’s birthdate! May 29th is for Andrew Clements and G.K. Chesterton; and we end the birthday celebrations this week on the 30th of May with Countee Cullen
- Note that as mentioned in previous posts: I only include a few literary birthdays as well as celebrations.
The Foodie Celebrations
- May 26th sure is a delish day!! Or rather it is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
- And if it is getting warmer where you live, then you can cool down with some popsicles on May 27th for it is National Grape Popsicle Day
- May 30th offers another refreshing way to keep cool by being National Mint Julep Day
The Other Celebrations
- Brother’s Day and National Scavenger Hunt Day are the celebrations I am going to celebrate on the 24th of May
- Channel your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers (or if you prefer, then any of the talented dancers of the Riverdance cast!) on the 25th of May, for it is National Tap Dance Day)
- Do you remember how to make a paper airplane? If yes, then great! If not, learn how to quickly, for May 26th is National Paper Airplane Day. I know from personal experience that the Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit is a super cool way to learn and build different types of paper places!!
- May 29th celebrates the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, another wonderful group of everyday heroes. It is also National 529 Day. For those of you outside the US, a “529 plan is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle in the United States designed to encourage saving for the future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary”; or in simpler words, funds parents put aside for their children’s education (and they get tax benefits from the same)
- The 29th of May also happens to be National Paperclip Day
- And for me, this one is a little personal, since I know and have family and friends who live with MS. May 30th is World Multiple Sclerosis Day
- May 30th also has other celebrations, including National Creativity Day, National Water a Flower Day, and National Hole In My Bucket Day. Somehow, my English teacher in our little town in the middle of nowhere in southern India knew this song – There is a Hole in My Bucket – and our class performed to the song. It was, as I recall, a bucket full of fun (and one without a hole in it!)
Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, this was it for this post. As always, appreciate and totally welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on these scribblings on Sunday! And which of these days in this wonderful week do you plan to celebrate?
Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon
9 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #71: The Need to Fill Empty Spaces”
Your poem is delightful. I crave empty spaces. The world is so full of noise. When I was young, I would see old couples together, silently eating their meal, and I felt sad for them. Now I understand that you don’t have to talk when you have been together for, say, almost 43 years.
I saw the loveliest poem today. I was reading through a magazine of poetry, and I came across letters written by students to poets about a poem the poet had written. One letter was about this poem:
That’s the whole poem. It’s perfect, though, isn’t it?
While I tend to keep my spaces pretty clear at home and when I drive, I feel dead space is absolutely necessary in a good negotiation. Sometimes, it’s just time to be quiet and let the chips fall where they may.
Since I started my de-cluttering challenge I have loved empty space. Like you I definitely love empty space when driving!
I am trying to get rid of the clutter. I find my house so much more peaceful when the clutter is gone.
Thank you for sharing those important updates about your blog as well as trivia and events outside. Your post is informative and I love the idea of white spaces but I couldn’t recall if I have encountered it in a written piece.
I need more empty space in my house! So much clutter!
I’m the person that has to fill every space. I feel more comforted that way.
If it’s empty….I fill it!
Ooh as a psychologist, I like this post on many different levels!
Personally, though, my favorite “keeping space” experience over the past year was that my teenage children kept space for family. We did not clear out the clutter or accomplish major things. We did, however, eat dinner as a family together again (one of the few silver linings of the pandemic) and we spent time walking and playing games or doing puzzles. Something I think we will all treasure, and would have missed during our “busy-ness” no matter how hard this mom would have tried to protect that time in the “real world.”