The Interstices

The word is interstice. A narrow or small space between parts or things, the dictionary says. The example it gives is the space between fence slats.

After all, a fence isn't just the slats. It's the space between the slats, too. Otherwise, it's a wall.

So, if we think about interstices in our common hours, they are the time between the things we do. The drive to the appointment, waiting in line, being on hold. It's the stuff that if someone asks about our day, we rarely mention.

But these interstices are important matters, whether we treat them as such or not. Our life isn't just the things we do, it is the space between the things we do. It's the moments when we aren't performing, when we're just being. Otherwise, life is a wall of doing.

These interstices are ours to claim. Breathe more deeply or listen to bluegrass. Call mom or notice the clouds' sideways drift across the sky.

And as we think about how to use them, I'd offer this riff on some Leonard Cohen wisdom: it is the space between the slats in the fence where the light comes through.

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Stillness, WisdomCaitie Whelan