a meditation of spaces

On my drive today, I spent some thinking about the spaces in which I do things. There are some spaces, like the aikido dojo at the university (the martial arts room that we share with other clubs), with both a very strong sense of space and a change of attitude upon entering the space.

Green and red mats on the floor, with red mats on the wall and some of the most delightful bamboo wallpaper on the upper parts of the walls, the dojo is clearly intended for its single purpose. I suspect the other clubs who use the space are similar in this, but we have a clear ritual when we enter the room.

We bow at the door, and then once down the half dozen stairs, we perform a kneeling bow before walking on to the mat. On the one hand, I accept this as the accepted practice not only of the local club but also of the national and international groups of which we are a part.

But much more than that, this ritual helps me put myself in the right frame of mind. For many of the classes, I’m coming into the dojo after a full day in the office, and my mind is then full of the office, which is not helpful to the practice of aikido. So over time, I’ve used this initial short ritual of entering to help me set aside the office day and get myself in the right frame of mind for practice.

The drive today was to get me to Trigonos, where the Milford Science Fiction Writers Conference is holding a writing retreat. Milford (for short) has been holding its September critique workshops at Trigonos for a number of years now, while the writing retreats are more recent.

I’ve attended several of the workshops and I’ve developed a similar sympathy with Trigonos as I have for the dojo. For me, this has become a space for writing in its different aspects: talking to other writers, writing, reading and commenting on pieces written by others.

Outwardly, I didn’t bow as I came through the door, but I did get hit by the waves of comfortable familiarity driving down the road, around the lake and into Nantlle. So this week, I am here to do some writing, in this place of writing.

Interestingly, my office at the university doesn’t have the same feeling. I suspect it’s because there are too many different things that I do in my work office, and so it’s difficult to have it as a space dedicated to one thing. Perhaps more on that later.

~ by Jim Anderson on 5 May 2019.

One Response to “a meditation of spaces”

  1. Have an excellent week! Write well. I love Trigonos.

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