Earlier this week I was listening to the “Off Camera with Sam Jones” podcast. Actually, I’ve been binge listening to every episode available in I-Tunes for the last few weeks.
Sidebar: If you haven’t given it a listen, check it out. It’s got a real Inside the Actor’s Studio vibe that I love.
The episode that I was listening to that sparked this post was one where Sam talks with Keegan-Michael Key. During that discussion, Key talks about the space between (in a line) a period and the capital letter of the next sentence.
He said that, even though that space is only a few millimetres wide, it might as well be a hundred miles because, in that space, he can do anything.
What he said resonated with me. He was talking about improvisation at the time, but I realized that it applies to so much more.
Of course it applies to writing. Even with the most heavily planned outline, there is always room for movement, to explore something a little deeper. In the space between one line and the next you might find an entirely new direction to take.
There are stories in those spaces – as many stories as there are in an empty sheet of paper, or blank computer screen, or canvass, or an instrument waiting to be picked up.
You can go anywhere.
The possibilities are daunting as hell.
Now consider the space between breaths, between thoughts.
Look close. Do you see it?
At any time you can go anywhere, do anything.
In the space of a breath you can offer encouragement just when someone needs it the most. You can also say something that may wreck a person for decades – yes, this power can be turned to ill, and often is.
But the point is that it all comes down to you. Your choices. Do you choose to say something? Do you choose to not hit ‘send’ on that tweet or comment? Do you decide to give that thing you’ve always wanted to do a try? Or do you do nothing? That, too is a choice.
It’s an easy choice to make. The bottom of a rut is smooth for a reason.
So for as much as my benefit as yours, if you find yourself stuck in the routine, if the days are blending together into a colorless mass, stop a moment and just breathe.
Look around you. You’re in that space. You’re in that pause between one line of your life’s story and the next.
Where will you go from here?
Thanks for reading.
Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.
I’ll see you on Thursday.
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