The Spaces Between Us

At times the spaces in between us are too large and
gaping. Others times the space is small, confined, or
undefined, like where my kids used to share a small
bedroom without closets, or in the tight space of my
claustrophobia dreams crawling through dirt tunnels.

Around 30 years ago, my family went on a river-tubing
excursion in the Minnesota summer heat, my mom, dad,
three little bothers and me. (Now that I think about it, my
parents were young, still in their 30s.) My youngest brother,
Will, had tubes in his ears at the time, and wasn't supposed
to submerge his head. Just as we were about to float down
a rocky stretch of mini-rapids, Will slipped off his tube and
went under--and in went my mom after him. I remember
looking back and being terrified seeing the empty tubes
lightly bobbing toward me. And then, in went my dad to
retrieve both mom and Will. He pulled them up to shore as
the rest of us grabbed their tubes. Now these weren't wild
rapids, but my brothers were little (approx. 5, 7, and 9)
and I was 14. I remember looking at the small bleeding cut
on my mom's leg, and thinking if only the space between 
the tubes had been smaller, I could have prevented it.
(My brothers turned out to have a blast, especially Will.
Risk wasn't my thing then; I've gotten a little better at risk
and not feeling responsible for everything, since then.)

The space in between us is pretty small when raising
young children. It has to be, but now as our daughters are
growing, I am finding more space for myself, and more
space and time for my husband and me. Yesterday as we
walked through our Fall woods, I thought more about the
space in between us, especially with this man who has
walked with me for twenty-two years. Often the woods
are his space, but we walked it together yesterday.

My work has been exploring the spaces in-between, lately.
Below I am playing with the shapes of the shadows and
the space between us.

In our woods yesterday, October, 2015.

Bearhead Lake, 2010. Taken by our daughter, Anna, without us knowing.

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