No not Star Trek. I mean just space. No not the stuff up there beyond the sky but you can include that as well. I am talking about the space in between objects that is all around us. It was something I have been conscious of while alone. The more alone I was the more conscious I became of all the space around me.
I suppose it was first experienced while living on the Isle of Anglesey and on my days off when all students had returned home. I would hang out on a rock by a cove and just experience the waves, the sea, the sunny day, and yes all that space around me. While I could have always ignored that space with music or talking, or even alcohol, it was nice to let go of all that and just relax in the vast space around me.
It sounds ordinary and quite repetitive and I tried not to think too much about it but then I went to Beijing and it took space to a whole new level. This is where I bring in perspective because that is important too. It’s one thing to experience space in your own home or say a small village or a city but another when you move to a different kind of town. Amsterdam has densely packed, slim but high old-style housing. It keeps your eyes fixed on the ground. Rotterdam is all corporate art-deco, angles, squares and symmetry. Symmetry resonates with me. Symmetry resonates.
London has some very high-rise buildings and again densely packed with lots of noise, all giving you a sense of space and perspective, but when I went to Beijing that was blown to another level. I tried to explain to the tourists who were only interested in visiting the Temples. ‘Have you seen the space in between things?’ but they just looked at me non-plussed. I noticed it first in The Olympic Park where I felt like a small person in a land of giants.
And as I took a ride on the subway to one of the outer suburbs, seeing those vast fields of densely packed high-rise buildings with hundreds and thousands of mini-windows containing the lives of so many souls, again I would notice that despite the ram packed tightly buildings that stood tall and resolute, a symbol of progress, there was still all that space in between things giving me a sense of perspective on how big this world really is.