Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Figure and ground
I'm not hot on languages, as are others in my close orbit, but a non-English word entered my unspoken vocab recently which has opened up my way of seeing. The word is 'va'. It is a Samoan word and is used commonly in the phrase 'le teu la va'. Its meaning: cherish the space. My gleanings and conversations inform me that this is not the space that separates people, (as in 'I need my space!'), but rather, the space that connects them. Not the you, not the me, not the you and me, but the invisibly filled space that connects us into a relationship. For me a penny has dropped. Like Rubin's image that is both facial profiles and a vase, depending on perception, I have been reminded that there is this non-tangible essential 'other bit' (oh the english language!) that is intrinsic to relationship. As the Samoan tradition reminds us, we are wise to cherish it.