Noise.

20120805-090237.jpg I have known for some time that I do not do well mentally around a lot of noise. Or in really confined spaces with too many people. Actually, I guess that’s a rather new revelation to me.

The more I reflect on it, I don’t do well in confined spaces when a certain level of interaction. The crowd in the photo expects nothing of the folks in adjacent seats whom they may not know on a personal basis. I’m fine in a crowded elevator. But not, after more than about 20 minutes, in an arcade on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, for example.

My own kitchen, with 10 people in it, standing around talking doesn’t even sit well with me. It’s why I love my 12×22′ living room.

The four spaces that I referenced on my ‘Belong’ offer explanation on one dimension of space. Proximity. However, there is another critical dimension to mental and emotional space. It’s purpose. The stadium’s purpose is not for personal or intimate expression like a coffeehouse is. But you can’t offer 12 feet or more to 63,000 football fans. Nor do we expect that kind of offering.

Regardless, such social events, in my own kitchen, ache in me. I am a part of them, for my friends and for my wife. But I offer no apology when I move to the loving room alone, despite offering the same opportunity to everyone else, only to be ignored.

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