After writing about fluctuations in daily temperatures last week, the cold seems to be settling. I am chilled each morning despite the socks and slippers, the wool sweaters. But I can’t—I won’t—though I could—complain. I say that I love the cold weather, and I do. But my body shivers the same as yours.  I look to the edges, cold against warm, and seek comfort there.  Sitting by the fireplace while the water boils. Donning coat, hat, gloves to walk the pup. Turning my wind-whipped cheeks to the sun.

Edges, stories.

For a long time now, my daughter’s been telling me that there’s only one space after a period, not the two my high school typing teacher taught me. When I edit my daughter’s work, she stands behind me, reaching in to delete the extra spaces I insert after (almost) every period. I can’t seem to help myself. I read a passage in Dani Shapiro’s Hourglass.  She writes of this very thing; it’s hard for her too. Somehow this makes me feel better.

Another edge, another story.

Apparently, I’m a “two-spacer”. Apparently, this is a thing. Apparently, there are articles* (and a handful of studies) about this generational phenomenon. Who knew?  A lot of people, apparently. Every time I come to my laptop this week, I try to remember. One space. One space. One space. It’s no small thing to retrain my brain. All of a sudden, I’m obsessed with one-space/two-space and find myself looking at the spaces after periods in everything I read. I resist.

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the United States. I feel extra grateful on Thanksgiving. Or maybe I feel the same amount of grateful as I do every day. I think about gratitude a lot. Gratitude every day, for big and small, for everything in between. This week, special gratitude for my brain, which is trying very hard to remind my thumb to tap the space bar just once at the end of each sentence. Gratitude for learning new things. Gratitude for a peaceful, unhurried morning to crimp the pie crust before baking. Gratitude for the sun and the moon and the stars.

Edges. Stories. Spaces.

Our teachers are everywhere. Our teachers are right in front of us, and take so many forms.
All we need to do is open our eyes, to be open to and aware of the possibilities.
Otherwise, we walk sightless among miracles.
~ Dani Shapiro

*here’s an interesting article in The Atlantic re: spacing after periods

P.S. We’re gathering soon (class starts December 6) for a holiday run of Just Five Things.
Click here for details and to register.

12 thoughts on “spaces

  1. Me too, that’s how I learned, that’s how I’v been doing it, 2 spaces after a period, and I’ve noticed that mostly I see one space, which doesn’t seem like enough, you can’t breathe one space. xo

    1. Right?! I keep playing with the one space and it doesn’t feel right to me either…and not because it’s about making the change/learning to do things a new way…I want that breathing space, as Angela said.

  2. I recently retired from teaching this past year and I taught my students to space twice after a sentence. I believe that to be correct and besides it looks better. I’m not changing my two space philosophy. I’m a person that likes change but I don’t like my sentences to be shoved together. They like to breathe.

    1. So good to hear your experience with teaching this, Angela…and recently! I agree on the not shoving together, the need to let the sentences breathe. yesyesyes.
      Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Oh I’m glad you loved it, Grace! Thanks for letting me know.❤️
      Fellow two-spacer!!! …I don’t know if I’ll make the switch or not, we’ll see…but playing with it. My kids do it because it’s expected for academic papers. We shall see… :)

  3. That made me laugh, I (of course) used to be totally over the top and put 3 spaces after a period! Just one nowadays, but the struggle was real! Looking forward to being with the LOT5Ts again!


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