Thursday, 22 September 2011

The relationship between us and a space

I’m fascinated with how being present in particular spaces can affect so much about our lives and how we feel emotionally.

The effect of choosing a particular space in which to reside or work, for example, can cause us a range of varying states of emotions: excitement, fear (or in extreme examples anxiety), feeling secure or exposed, happiness and delight or uncomfortable misery, financial hardship or sometimes even financial prosperity, health or discomfort, connected or isolated, well, you get the idea.

How is it that the physical properties (the shape, atmosphere, location, etc) of different spaces can have such an affect on us? Does the space even affect us, or is it merely our perception of the space?

The range of factors which I know personally affect how I feel within and about particular places, include: light, artificial vs natural; size, spacious vs cramped vs overwhelming enormity; context, living vs working vs visiting; and colours light vs dark.

I recently moved into a new house and it is just beautiful. It has such a friendly and wise feel (if it possible for a house to be wise), sort of like a favourite grandfather. It chuckles. I feel very happy there, and in the surrounding areas too. The little courtyard is lovely. The street is lovely. The graffiti is lovely. Even the air seems lovely, somehow.

I contrast this with an apartment I lived in only briefly. There, the building literally groaned it was so worn out an old. It looked nice, but it felt very isolating there, and almost cold. It was very dusty and musty and I hated it so much I only stayed 7 days (I am almost embarressed to admit).

So what was it about the horrible space that made me feel so awful? And what is it about this place that makes me feel so happy?

I’m not certain it’s energy left behind by previous occupiers. One of the houses I enjoyed living in most was occupied by lovers of satanic ritual right before I lived there. They marked the doors with satanic symbols and all the neighbours hated them. I loved that place though, completely oblivious to the symbols until someone pointed them out to me. There was something about how the sunlight came though the windows and shone on the wooden floor that had cracks between the boards so large you could see through to the soil beneath. It was just so friendly and lovely. Like a warm hug.

Despite not really understanding the logistics of it all, I'm glad that the new place makes me feel warm and fuzzy. This is my new bedroom. It feels so inviting...and safe. There is something awfully lovely about waking up in the morning and looking out of that window at the greenery and bricks outside. It's beautiful and wonderful.

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