Slice of Life: Making Space


On a recent episode of On Being, Krista Tippett’s sublime podcast, Lawrence Kushner explained the concept tzimtzum, or “god’s self-contraction to make spaces within god for creaturely beings to live” (Read more here.) (For the record, I am not Jewish, so I hope I haven’t muddled this or offended anyone.) Kushner went on to say that this idea manifests itself in our daily life when we make a space to create “so that something you love will have room to grow.” I love this.

Making space in my life to create, to write, has been an incredible challenge recently and I almost feel like I don’t even remember how to write anything. But I’m not giving up.

Undergrowth with Two Figures, Vincent van Gogh, 1890. Cincinnati Art Museum, via Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Irene Latham’s Artspeak! theme of happy, I scrolled through Google Arts & Culture until I found a painting that brought a smile to my face. I found Undergrowth with Two Figures by Vincent van Gogh completely enchanting. I longed to step into the painting and gather armfuls of flowers. Instead, I gathered inspiration for this haiku:

Beneath silver trees
coruscating daffodils
illuminate the day

© Catherine Flynn, 2019

Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebKelseyMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

7 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Making Space

  1. Daffodils illuminate the day is lovely and shows how even a small moment of haiku can be the tzimtzim. (I’m not sure I understand the concept either)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this line – “almost feel like I don’t even remember how to write anything.” And immediately scrolled up to confirm that this was Catherine’s blog, the person who writes amazing poetry.
    Sure enough, I was reading your blog. Then you go on to share a wonderful way to brainstorm – looking through art to get an idea.
    Favorite line: completely enchanting. I longed to step into the painting and gather armfuls of flowers.
    Favorite poem, too!
    Thanks for sharing the OnBeing link, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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