I recently came across the Japanese term “Ikigai” which is a rather lovely concept with definitions ranging from “a reason to get up in the morning” to the more poetic “allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom”.
It got me thinking about the spaces that I occupy and their intersections:- my day job, (which, to my great privilege, allows me to work from home), homeschooling my clever teenage daughter, taking care of the plethora of dependent furry earthlings, and trying to maintain the semblance of a household. Not to mention, sometimes, getting some exercise and oh, yeah, writing. Some of these things I do quite well some of the time.
The word “space” has many meanings. I’m in love with the sheer awesomeness that is the universe and I’m fascinated by the space that is consciousness. This is where I feel the true sense of the meaning “Ikigai” – the convergence of wonder, imagination and the physical space to breathe, to explore one’s self.
I’ve experienced something like Ikigai many times while sailing – and recently, while living in rural Australia. I’m currently resident on a little property that for a another year at least, I can call my own. I can’t afford to stay here – that is the reality of economics – however, I will treasure this space while I can and then, when I have to leave, I can take it with me.
Oh, and I finished another short story – that’s my second new story for January – and sent it out into the world in the hopes that it will find it’s own home. I so own that space today. Ikigai!