Everyone we know needs a “clear space” they can retreat to to STOP, take a break from busy life, a breath or a shift of view, even just for a few moments. Although we LOVE having a clear space right in our Laboratory —the bedroom with the pink wall is just that, no media, just quiet, artworks, and view — we know it is not always possible in this time of limited real estate.
So we’ve devised a number of options: clear spaces that don’t involve actually having one. There are the obvious ones of course: a walk in nature, a park, a trip to a quiet museum to view a Buddha, perhaps…
Our friend David Saltman coined the word “bibliomancy” to describe having a book jump into your hand or open to page that has EXACTLY the thing you need to hear. We keep a stack of books that have a high degree of bibliomantic potency nearby; we can open them almost anywhere and find something great.
We use bibliomancy to create a “clear space” when our physical one is closing in, for one reason or another. We open a book and get lost in a poem or a passage or images. Here’s what we just found in A Field Guide to Getting Lost, at random:
To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography. — Rebecca Solnit
Often, we open an art book to an image to reflect on and leave it open so we can “get lost” throughout the day. Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajasthan is a favorite…
…As is New York Arbor, with its wondrous images of trees:
Sometimes we find a clear space on the internet. We can “beam” ourselves to the Grand Canyon instantly for a river view.
What clear spaces do you retreat to?
top image via 2 or 3 Things I Know