Thursday, June 15, 2006

Second Space

I am currently pondering Cook's theory of Second Spaces.

The thesis of this theory is this:
That everyone needs a space in life, other than their primary space, where they feel safe and where they can sit and read, to catch up with friends - somewhere to just be.

At one point in time this may have been the church but this is definitely not the case today. For many people the need to have somewhere they can be themselves without constraints is a core need. The desire to connect, to not be judged, to have space to process, to have time out from the busyness of life and breathe in crucial.

This space is the place we are drawn to when we feel things are getting too much. For me this second space is the beach. When I step foot on the sand of a beach I am immediately relaxed and feel as though I am in a safe place. When I was studying to be a minister my second space was the Macquarie Centre, a large shopping complex, which was walking distance from the college. Again I could go there and just be, buy a cuppa and sit.

This space could be anywhere, for some it would be their local pub, the series Cheers, epitomizes the Pub as a second space. For a friend of mine Starbucks is her second space. A second space could be and specific rock to watch the sunset, a park a cafe, a library it can be anywhere you are able to reconnect with self, others and God. For many they may not recognize a reconnecting with God but a realigning of the spiritual side of life.

What is it about our second space that makes it a safe space?

How is it that we can help provide our communities with healthy safe spaces?
Does the inceaseing epidemic of loneliness which permeates our communities exist because people don't have access to a second space?
How does a faith community develop space which responds to this need?
How do kids access their second space, if they have the restaints of parents, transport etc? Is their bedroom their second space?

I would love your responses on this theory? I would love to hear where your second space is?




Widening Circles said...

I've been pondering some similar thoughts lately. For me, church does provide the kind of second space you speak of, though I also find it on my back porch early on a Sunday morning, or curled up in front of a cozy fire in winter. Of course, things were rarely that peaceful before my kids grew up and moved off to places of their own ...

Allison said...

A nice long walk along the beach ... I did a 9 kilometre walk with a friend last week and was the best thing I could have done.

k8 said...

I wanted to answer this earlier, but didn't know how. But our shower broke this morning and I had to have a bath tonight and I was reminded forcibly of this post as I laid down in the water - I think water is often my second space and has been most of my life. I have always loved to swim (not that I'm fast, but learning mostly in the surf means I'm a pretty strong swimmer) and one of my favourite places to stop/think/relax is floating on my back with my ears covered by the water so all the sounds around you are either muffled or completely blocked out. I had more in my head earlier that I wanted to say, but its late and my brain has been invaded by all the other things I have to think about again. I might come back tomorrow, but I just had to say that for now...