“There was so much to feel in that empty moment between the start of things and the end of things.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
I have been thinking a lot lately about that beautiful space in between moments of our lives, the times when anything seems possible. We can so easily miss these moments, the pause between breathing in and breathing out, the silent place when we have completed one thing and the next has not yet started.
It comes at the end of the day, in twilight. It comes at dawn, as we begin to wake from the stories of our dreams. It comes throughout the day as we move from one conversation to the next, one project, one task to the next.
We complete small things each day and we complete large phases of our lives. We have the opportunity between each to pause, reflect, pay attention. In these moments, we have the great gift of possibility, infinite possibility. What may happen next?
I have been thinking about how often I can simply move from one moment to the next, without thinking or pausing. Without seeing what could be.
The magic is in that moment, in the space between.
In that moment, we are always invited to stop, be silent, in awe and wonder, and choose something new. In the silent spaces between the notes of our lives we can direct our intentions, our energy, our prayers and will and focus on whatever we choose for ourselves and the world around us. We cannot control everything that will happen from that moment, but we can choose how we move forward into the next one.
And that is where our power lies. In the space between.
David Whyte is one of my favorite poets and I remember hearing a recording of him once, talking about this moment, the space between two notes. He read from a poem by Rilke, and the lines have stayed with me for years, a haunting melody in my mind, reminding me that the quiet, magic space is always there, many times a day and throughout the phases of our lives.
As National Poetry Month comes to an end, it seems fitting to end this with that poem by Rilke, translated by Robert Bly.
The Rest Between Two Notes
My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me: I stand before it like a tree:
But I am only one of many mouths
and at that, the one that will be still the soonest.
I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because death’s note wants to climb over –
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay here, trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.