Inspection- Folding the Space Between Us


                               Courtesy Brandon Young
During this autumn, this political season, I have decided for a few editions to… FALL… back on those less than political ones I so love to write. One of my favorite columnists was Sydney Harris; whose mission seemed to be to help you think out of the box. To help us think beyond ongoing societal angst, beyond dogma and beyond all too convenient talking points. I hope I have honored his memory with my less than political efforts like this.

 I just finished re-watching The Space Between Us, a movie panned by many armchair pundits, but a movie I dearly love. Despite the wrong headed criticism that the movie is soppy. They claim ‘soppy’ Inspectiondespite moments like when Tulsa: the very jaded love interest, slaps Gardner more than once. Say that despite the clash between him and a culture he doesn’t really understand, didn’t grow up in, only knows from movies and contact with astronauts. Perhaps they could have included the deleted scene where he gets mugged to satisfy the critics, though neither Millie nor I needed it.
 Hey, you want “soppy?” I KNOW “soppy.” The Hallmark Channel plays in my Nashville home more often than not, and it’s not me. But that’s OK. Sometimes “the space between us” is exactly what we need for a good relationship.
 Several pictures, taken just north of me right now at Golden Beach in the Adirondacks, had me thinking. Amazing photos… courtesy Brandon Young. Also used in a Facebook group I started.
 I love to think, to ponder, to question, to analyze. I admit that drove some of my former girlfriends crazy. Mrs. Carman too. Sorry, Millie. You still love me, right? How much? Specify.
 Yes, like a knight in armor I… jest.
 These pictures I mentioned had me pondering out loud to myself…

Ken Carman

“Is there a purpose behind all this? Is this beauty wasted on mere nothingness? Or is sentience, consciousness, the ability of life to survive, even thrive, far more complicated and vast than we can imagine? Are we just one important speck in the body of the divine?

 Oh, I don’t necessarily mean Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Vishnu or Gorfdorf from the 5th Nebula… twice removed from cousin Dorfygorfy.
 Yeah, I made that last two up, as well as their misguided concept of the Holy Ghost: Goofy Doofey. .
 I believe the divine is most likely far bigger than our meager efforts to reach forth unto the unknown religiously. I think what actually IS is far bigger, far more complex: yet simple, than we are able to grasp, able to comprehend, able to imagine. If there is something past my passing I believe I’ll be amazed beyond amazed, beyond anything I imagined before. And anyone who truly knows me KNOWS “imagination is me” would be an accurate, though grammatically horrific, statement.
 Just looking at those pictures I am already almost there. Almost.
 What a waste if not… or is it?
 As humans we think in terms of ourselves. Beings who breathe, think, walk look at least somewhat like us. Not likely. Sentient life, and the divine, are more likely to be bigger, more diverse, than anything we’ve imagined. Compared to that the differences between our words, our thoughts, our feelings, our beliefs must be miniscule. Words too often provide the space between us. We think these concepts, these thoughts, what we perceive so crucial, so different: but we may be no more than a mere whisker away from the person we think we have every reason to hate. Indeed, I tend to find partisans on ‘opposite’ sides tend to behave, and misbehave, in similar ways. In the other eye they see the sty, but ignore their plank, if you’d prefer a biblical-like reference.
 One of the current concepts about how we might go to different solar systems, different galaxies, traverse vast spatial distances, is to fold space. This true when it comes to our differences too: we just have to fold the space to bring us closer to each other, to understand. That’s why when I argue with someone I know I will never convince sometimes I try to find a similarity to fold the distance back to closer than it was.
 Most of us want black lives to matter and all lives. It’s really not a difference. How we get there is the question.
 No one likes abortion. How we handle it as a society is the issue.
 No one wants every mindset to be tolerated. Which ones we accept, we tolerate, we toss aside, is the contention.
 No one wants to be hurt in most relationships, or be the one who hurts, we just have to understand the mindset of the other as best we can, and offer respect as much as possible. No one should be treated as an appendage because the other is making some show of impressing others with, “Oh, look what a good person I am, I’m treating them nicely despite…”
 Similar rules apply to friends. If you break up that relationship may need even more attention, care, yes, “love;” in the wider sense. In fact we tend to overrate romantic relationships and take for granted friendships. So unfortunate.
 Find ways to fold the space between.
 Dating services look for similarities. I think they might better look for dissimilarities then train these who sign up for their services how to find the beauty in their differences, learn from the, grow to be more than who you are. That’s how you do it. If you suffer from the illusion you need to find someone close to exactly the same you may have set yourself up for misery. The differences WILL be found, and bother you even more because of your assumptions.
 Folding the space, decreasing the distance, increases the love. Helps it grow.
 Political years, by their nature, especially these days, thrive on increasing the distance. Unfortunately. But no matter who you support, one thing is sure. The nation needs to heal. The distances between us may not be as vast as we believe.
 Post November here’s to folding that space.


                                  Courtesy Brandon Young

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Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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