Sometimes, it’s as small as inches or as tiny as centimeters. Sometimes, it’s as long as miles or as far away as kilometers. But sometimes, it’s as close as two hands touching, fingers intertwining—and even then, there’s still spaces.
We’ve heard it way too many times:
“I want space.”
“I need space.”
But often, we are left dumbfounded, figuring out our why’s, questioning our actions, and ultimately doubting ourselves.
What could have made a difference? What could have made people stay? What could have created this space? And why?
But you see, spaces are never non-existent. Even when you can literally feel someone else’s warmth in such a close proximity — holding them in your arms, hugging them—there still feels like an enormous room for space. Even when someone’s around, when we can hear tiny decibels of their voices, when we can feel their heartbeats thumping in rhythm, we can still feel them drifting away. Not unless their own souls—their own beings—merge with ours. While we are beings meant to love and be loved, we are not possessions. Nobody owns us; nobody can have that much power over us. Nobody—not even the people we love the most—has the ability to close gaps, to make oceans disappear, to create folded maps as the Earth so that the distance between two souls are brought to nothing.
While the Universe intends to bring two souls together, it does not force a merging of beings. Even the Universe becomes powerless over spaces. Even the Universe tries its hardest to plant seeds of togetherness, to allow room for sunshine to illuminate, to allow the seeds to grow, to bloom.
But the spaces—oh, these spaces. You’ll never see it coming. It remains to be unseen. You’ll never know when these spaces will hit you. You’ll wake up one day, and realize how the people in your life are drifting away. And perhaps, there are moments when you have even asked for it—for some space to allow yourself to grow, to have that time all for yourself. But still—still, this comes to you as a shock. All the in-betweens were flying through time, and this right here—this space—is the most unexpected grey in the world that is black and white.
Spaces exist because you need that time to be with and by yourself. You need to find time to understand that while someone’s presence creates a surface-level fullness, there is a certain kind of depth in solitude.
Spaces exist not because you need it, or that you want it. Spaces do not exist for you. Do not feel entitled to having space. Before even craving for it, its presence was already lurking among shadows—hidden and unseen.
Perhaps, the reason why we ought to feel entitled to space is because we do not know that it’s been there all along.
When it’s there, we too often fail to notice it. When it’s gone—or at least, when we think it is—we tend to want it. We want it so much that it feels like our hearts are about to burst. We tend to think that we even need it—that it’s a necessity; that these spaces are supposed to be a part of our lives—that these spaces are supposed to be constant reminders of all the temporary things and people we encounter in this lifetime. But it’s not. Spaces are not supposed to be constant reminders because the truth is, they already are. They always have been. But like what has just been said, it has always been forgotten, ignored, and unnoticed.
It’s the same as taking someone or something for granted. We know it’s there, but we pretend it isn’t. And when they’re gone, we look for them in everyone.
But I guess, the difference lies in knowing. There’s a certain kind of awareness in taking someone for granted because you know all about their presence, but you still choose to ignore them. Choose — it was a conscious decision; it was something you knew.
But with space, you don’t really know. No one ever really knows. You’ll never really know because spaces are conniving and treacherous. Even when someone’s head is already on your shoulder or even when you feel inseparable because you are in each other’s arms, there’s still tiny spaces unseen.
This close isn’t close enough. But I guess when you love someone so much, nothing is ever enough.
But spaces crave something, too. It’s the intensity of wanting to be recognized. It’s the desire to no longer hide in the dark. It’s the need to be seen.
But sometimes, it’s simply knowing that it’s already been there all along.
Photo as seen in newyorktoparis.tumblr.com