Third Space

I have been rolling around the concept of the “third space” in my mind. If you aren’t familiar with this recently much bandied about sociocultural word, the third space essentially denotes a communal place that is separate from your home (first space) and your workplace (second space). But the definition is flexible and fluid. Third space examples range from coffee shops to even escape rooms, rage rooms, music rooms, crystal rooms, and my particular favorite, tiny library rooms. Yes, these are all trending searches, which to me is an implication of our greater need to have space where we can find emotional escape. A space where we can feel safe to feel all the feels. We have always needed these spaces, but it took post-pandemic for us to recognize their necessity.

I’ve been really trying to understand the core of what the third space truly means to our family. Backorders and shipping delays have rendered us couchless in our main living area for the time being and so third spaces to us have become even more crucial. If I had to boil down the third space into a simple concept, it would be a place we go to in order to creatively preserve freedom of thought. The process of daily living can all too often annihilate the imagination. Our time here on Earth, if defined by nothing else, has always been about preservation. To learn, to maintain, to preserve so that we may impart pieces of ourselves. Eternal life is not found in elixirs or machines. It is ensconced in the ideas we allow to endure and pass on.

And interestingly, these ideas can germinate from the things that surround our life experience. How did Marie Kondo brainwash us into thinking that clutter is bad? Decorating with ephemera and the curation of deeply personal objects make for so much more visually interesting eye-candy to the brain than blank spaces devoid of personality ever could. I suppose this is a very long-winded way of saying that third spaces, to me, should be radically semichaotic, where there is a lot to see, but also that everything has a place. In your third space, let the books and the art and the notebooks and the pencils and the individualism overflow, I say! Densely layer it. Chaos in thoughtful form is delicious.

And, of course, feel free to make a mess.

Leave a Reply