A while back, Jer shared with me this New York Times article about the concept of "thin spaces". We've woven that idea it into our lives quite a bit since then. To quote the author of said article (Eric Weiner), "thin spaces" are "locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, as I like to think of it, the Infinite Whatever". Ok, this seems very grand. But really what we're talking about here is finding those spaces that just click, the atmospheres where you feel like the best version of yourself, and where that version comes easily, like breathing. The article talks about thin places more as physical locations that are so at one with themselves that you can't help but feel that same way when you are in them, but I feel they can be more of an intangible state too. I find thinness in a particular song, a mind space that offers a moment of blinding clarity, or with company that lights me up from within--I think it can be any moment where you unexpectedly find yourself closer to the Eternal Everything. Best of all, a thin place shakes you up from the inside out. It disorients you spiritually and makes you look at things in a different way while simultaneously boiling you down to your most true self.
I've been thinking about thin places a lot lately because I think its one of the few ways I can find to describe the sensation of terror and exhilaration and silliness and comfort and heartache I feel in the darkened wings of a theatre right before I step onstage and then as soon as I step off. I get this same sense of heady thinness when walking into the empty theatre before a performance when the lights are still dimmed, the smell of upholstered audience chairs and scenery dust hangs on the air, and everything is absolutely quiet with the knowledge that in a matter of an hour or two the room will burst into life. That buzzing energy can only be described as my own personal slice of the Divine. With the run of my play being at the halfway point I am once again facing a moment of transition in the road ahead. I'll be leaving the cocoon of one magnificently thin space and journeying out in search of the next (or with the hopes that it will find me).
Before The Great Reproductive Apocalypse of 2014™ (just kidding, you know I have no clue how to "TM"), I used to always think that pregnancy would be like the ultimate mobile thin space for me. Since I was young I would hear stories from my mom about how blissfully happy she was when she was pregnant and I expected nothing different. As a little girl I would play mommy with the detailed authority of a 5-year-old that knew precisely what she was born to do one day. So many times since my miscarriage I have wondered if I will be able to have an experience anywhere close to blissful when I get pregnant again (notice the positive "when" language I'm using to trick the universe? that works right?). Will it be possible to cultivate that energy around me despite knowing what I know? Can a thin space exist when the air is choked with the ghosts of a past trauma? Sure, I think so, I just don't know quite how yet, but as usual, I'll jog ahead and let you know what I see.
Once the world breaks your heart in some way (and it seems to come for all of us at some point, doesn't it?), I guess there are always going to be fractures that don't quite re-set as they were before. You find yourself questioning things you never questioned and parts of you that were as deeply engrained as your very identify heal into something slightly alien. I would argue also, though, that this healing process makes feeling things even more intense and wonderful despite the accompanying confusion and disorientation. Thin and thick places are constantly in flux and what made you feel like you were coming home to yourself one minute may evaporate without warning, but I think perhaps there is an even higher incidence of locating heavenly "thin spaces" when you've been to hell and back. The shattered pieces of your heart reflect and illuminate in a new way that lights your pathway toward collapsing the space between you and the magic of the Universe.