Time, Place, and Space

13 02 2017


February 13, 2017

Fellow naturalist and writer Julie Zickefoose recommended Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert as a reminder “to beat fear back in the pursuit of self-expression.” I had not been impressed with her Eat Pray Love. I don’t even remember how I felt when I finished Committed. I heard and then forgot that Gilbert left that chronicled and hard-fought relationship to partner with a friend now facing multiple cancers. But Julie’s words resonated at the moment. A long weekend was coming up and I had some free time and no book.

When I started Big Magic, I was hooked by the defining question: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? I shared this with my cousin, also writing a book; she was skeptical of Gilbert’s work and asked for more information. I kept reading and just loved her concept that an idea–a book plot, a scientific discovery, and the like–is an energetic entity that floats around, trying to find a home with someone who will implement it. After a while, this idea can get tired of waiting for a host to act and will move on to another more likely prospect. The example given by Liz Gilbert is a story line she had invested some time into researching, only to be distracted by her then partner’s deportation and the subsequent book (Committed) which described all that. When she went back to this other plot, she’d lost all the vim and vigor to write it…it was gone. Around this time, she became friends with novelist Ann Patchett. A year later, Patchett shared the premise of her work in progress, and it was almost the same plot as the one Gilbert had lost. Gilbert felt the idea had transferred to Patchett when they first met; it had found a more probable person to bring it to completion.


My cousin and I during the time she lent me A State of Wonder

OK, that’s all pretty cool, but it happened to them, not me. Then I realized I had read that book of Patchett’s, State of Wonder. Then, holy moly, it hit me! This same cousin who’d asked for more information about Big Magic had Patchett’s book with her when I last saw her, and had lent it me to read! That felt like a confirmation of this concept–that ideas float around looking for a likely host–with a link that included me.

So, I dwelt a bit on this concept. It’s about being at the right place at the right time. Ideas, people, and events all intersect with us at a particular time and place. We’ve all felt the serendipity of running into someone, or coming across an idea in one location, and then seeing it again in a second and maybe even third place. Then, whether we pick them up or are oblivious to them really is about how open we are at the moment. If we are willing to stop and listen, to provide a space for these whispers from the universe, then we can experience the richness of life. We can learn and grow and live in wonder and amazement.



12 responses

13 02 2017
Time, Place, and Space | Beth Lapin

[…] Source: Time, Place, and Space […]

13 02 2017

Beth…I love this idea.It certainly has happened to me where I have an idea that came from somewhere else and then often acted upon it.. Also, I have ideas and others have acted upon them..THANK YOU.

xoxo Cherry

15 02 2017
Beth Lapin

I have watched others act on your ideas! You are very good at letting the ideas you envision move to someone else for action.

13 02 2017

Very interesting … I can see what you are saying … and although i was not a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love — you should read “The Signature of All Things”! A complete departure and fascinating … funny thing is – I read it right after I read “A Sense of Wonder”… which even more interesting because I constantly refer one or the other depending on whether someone has read one or the other.

15 02 2017
Beth Lapin

Thanks for the suggestion — I’ll put it on my list

15 02 2017

I went straight to the library and checked out “Big Magic.” I’m ready for some magic. Thanks Beth!

15 02 2017
Beth Lapin

Let me know what you think!

16 02 2017
Susan Scott

So true Beth thank you – also, I agree about The Signature of All Things being a GREAT book. I remember reading Eat Pray Love at a lick as it was on loan for me for about 24 hours and I thought it good and worthwhile. And yes in terms of ideas floating and then finding the right receptacle to take root … opportunity knocking …

16 02 2017
Beth Lapin

Thus the value of global communication and sharing of all kinds of ideas, eh? 🙂

6 03 2017

My experience confirms Gilbert’s assertion that ideas require action on the part of the host. Great to meet you yesterday!

6 03 2017
Beth Lapin

Your example supported the concept, didn’t it?

6 03 2017

As it was meant, smile.

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