The Space Between

June 8, 2008

Following yesterday’s P-I article on our cozy living situation, I came across this even cozier setup: Buddhist teachers Michael Roach and Christie McNally live together in an Arizona yurt. And they never stray more than 15 feet from one another. Ever.

The closeness is part of their spiritual practice, which includes world travel for speaking engagements — if they can’t sit next to each other on an airplane, they just don’t get on it — and the maintenance of Diamond Mountain University, a retreat center set on teaching the Buddhist way.

I read the article with a little skepticism. Sure, Mister and I live a close life. In our tiny house, we’re often no more than 20 feet away from each other at all times. But, we both have day jobs, which give us some time off. But I wonder: Could we exist that way, two tiny planets orbiting each other? Fifteen feet from our beloved, 24/7/365?

Sound off: Could you live that Small?

Special thanks to “The Choir” (read more about him here), who found this article via David Plotz and Hanna Rosin’s 15-foot experiment, which they chronicled at Slate. Good read.

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4 Responses to “The Space Between”

  1. Grant Wagner said

    God knows I love my wifey, and I want to be with her as often as possible. With the exception of day jobs, I think we can easily do 20 feet. Unforunately, every now and then we will need a wall in between!

  2. I hear you. Maybe we’re missing out on the Zen of living 15 feet from our spouses at all times, though.

    Or maybe not.

  3. Justin The (Yurt) Man said

    This post serves as a good reminder that not all people/couples are created equal with respect for their tolerance to living small. The goal should be “live as small as possible,” while still being conscious of one’s need for space. It’s okay to admit to ourselves and one another that there isn’t a one size fits all solution to small living. I sure couldn’t live in constant contact with my partner. I think we often beat ourselves up about not being able to be as noble as the noblest among us. Maybe the goal is not to live in as small a space as possible, but rather to live in no larger of a space than is necessary. Slightly different semantics that make a world of difference…

  4. But is it possible to have “space” that doesn’t equal a home’s footprint? Can we consider having jobs in different places “space”? Can a solitary workout or trip to the library constitute “space”?

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