the fifth element

I’m out with the pup. Out in the air. Out walking on frozen water. Out moving quickly to keep warm, to keep the “fire” going inside. We’re exploring our earth. Our big earth.

Earth, fire, water and air. I’ve mentioned four elements. So what is the fifth?

I hadn’t considered a fifth element until … in reading Mosko and Noden:

The fifth element is space… (That element) is the vision that drives all the other elements. It is the ultimate mystery… (and is) difficult to talk about since it is the union of subject and object… It does not appear or disappear… It’s the emptiness that brings clarity to the whole.

I recalled how, a few days ago, I had felt pent up. I had left NH with all these wide-open lakes and uninhabited mountains and now was living in town. I felt like: I need space. And, really – hardly two minutes from my house there is a nature preserve. In summer, it’s well appreciated: there are many people out in the woods. But now? With temperatures in the single digits – I have the woods to myself. I was easily able to answer that need for space.

And I appreciated how it felt. My mood lifted. My mind relaxed. I could feel myself let go. With that space.

It was such a literal response to the word. Yet, I wondered afterwards if I wasn’t literally responding all the time? If there was time pressure, or people pressure – any kind of pressure – the release/relief comes from getting some kind of space around it.

The outdoors is one passageway. And then, there’s my art. That same opening is there. The “blank canvas”. The space to play. To enjoy space: the way lines delineate and colors suggest lift and flow. The way emptiness can suggest the shape or surround it. On and on. 

Outdoor space. Art. And then…

And then, sometimes, just sometimes, what is needed, what is desired is less space. No space. A tight wrap.

Sometimes one loves being just all wrapped up.

(The fifth element is appreciated in all its configurations.)

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