“Our lives happen between the memorable.” – Jack Gilbert, Highlights And Interstices
I don’t recall ever using the word interstices in a sentence before referencing Gilbert’s poem here, but it marries well with the quote I pulled from the poem. Interstices is the intervening space between things. So for every highlight in a life; graduation, marriage, birth of a child, bucket list trip, there’s the million seemingly mundane things that happen in between. The drive to and back from the game, not the game itself. The five minutes you’re sitting on rolled out paper in the doctor’s office, versus the time that you’re engaged with the doctor as you’re trying to diagnose why things aren’t quite right. Interstices is the break in the trees that lets that flicker of light shine in your face. It’s the stuff of life, yet the stuff in between the highlights.
I’m sitting in a restaurant parking lot waiting for a breakfast appointment to show up. The calendar shows the appointment, and sometimes I’ll block off the drive time to ensure I give myself the time. But this waiting time is blank on my calendar. And yet it’s not blank space in my life. We’re reminded of the tenuous hold we have in life when that doctor informs you or someone in your family that not quite right is something worse. For all our talk of living in the moment, sometimes we forget about life between the memorable. Celebrate the highlights, but remember that the interstices are part of the sum and should be savored too.