There are two ways in which we measure distance; the real and the imagined. Real distances are easy to grasp as we track the mathematics between two displaced points or the passage of time. This can include anniversaries, miles counted, pots of coffee made, and so on. Imagined distances include physical space and time, but are felt through empathic means, where real distances become a metaphor for what is not there. Imagined distance is how long it takes during a sleepless night for darkness to transfigure into light. Imagined distance is feeling alone in a crowd. Imagined distance is the vulnerability felt when we are threatened by the sublime, such as literally or figuratively speaking, sitting in a small boat in the middle of a vast sea. Imagined distances are the words not being spoken between two people and the ensuing gulf of pregnant silence between them. Imagined distances are our conversations with the dead. Imagined distance is not a shared experience, although two people in the same situation can be feeling the effects of an imagined distance, each can only experience their distance alone, marooned within their thoughts.
Whole lives are spent closing the gap of distance. Science calculates the trajectory of the earth in relation to it’s solar system and the resolute member of the Lonely Hearts Club keeps reaching out a hand to a someone or something that is or isn’t there. The opposite of distance is closeness. Closeness leads us to believe in comfort but what happens when closeness is too close for comfort? We feel encroached upon or stifled and even lose our ability for objective reasoning. Like anything to be experienced by the human condition; real or imagined, too much of any one thing can prove to be dubious. There is no argument for or against more closeness or for more distance. Their waves wash over us as they do and the tide rolls out in it’s own time. It is about what we do when we are submerged in our distances and its product revealed when the gap between distance and closeness shortens.