In praise of open spaces

open spaces

“We were designed to live together, like wolves in their packs.”

“No, we were designed to walk our own path, like coyotes.”

“So you’re both saying we’re like dogs.”

“Is there something wrong with dogs?”

*

Face it – cities make us mad. Have you been to a city? Madness. Anger. Despair. Desolation. Little bits of nature to remind us what was lost when everyone packed together too tightly.

Too much being alone, they say, also makes you mad. The city dweller grows restless in the quiet. Or is that simply a withdrawal symptom, the pain of frostbite as it thaws on the way to healing? Or is the anxiety of too many people the solitary soul’s frostbite thaw? Were we really meant to cling together in little boxes stacked to the sky?

Escape from New York. Find the open field, the nook in the woods, the place on the shore. Tranquility begins where there is room to breathe, room to think – in short, where there is room. Not “a” room – room. Space. Air. A sense of fullness, a sense of emptiness, a fragment of infinity where the mind and soul can stretch.

So – are we pack animals or loners? I only know I feel peace in quiet and open spaces. I can’t speak for others, but crowds do seem to make people crazy. “Mob violence.” “Tyranny of the majority.” “Democracy is six wolves and a deer voting on what to have for dinner. It’s a landslide.”

*

“There is no tribe, and there never was. Our lives are entirely up to us.”

— Steven Pressfield

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