A man’s castle is often not his home; it is his private space. That place he goes to be alone, to create, to hang with his friends –a place to renew.
When a man takes on a partner, then a family he gives up a part of himself for something bigger. He invites others into his space – an act of generosity and love. After a while, what he might feel as regret I propose is not regret, but our instinctual need for space.
We are the hunters of the hunter-gathers. Our ancestors roamed, we need to roam by ourselves and with other men. We need to go on our quests. Business travel was the assumed domain for much of this journeying. Even when it was just men on the road, it wasn’t enough.
The past couple of decades of Harley Davison’s growth express men’s need to be free. We spend thousands of dollars to put loud pieces of metal between our legs in some ways to escape the other pleasure we put between our legs. Before Harleys there were horses as the vehicle of escape.
If we don’t want to ride our bike out of town, then we want to walk to our space. Here in North Idaho men have shops. Men escape to their shops to build, repair and just hang. Yes, often we escape to escape expressing our emotions. Yet, there is a light side to needing to escape.
Sam Martin spoke on “manspaces” at last summer’s TED Global 2009 conference. His need for space spawned him to put on a tool belt for the first time to build a studio. Being a writer, he wrote a book on menspaces. In his research the found beautiful creations that were much more than crude spaces with pinups on the walls. He discovered men whose spaces were works of art.
We need space. Men need it differently than women. I can see it now… there will be a “menspace movement” to create our space.
Every Wednesday night for soon to be five years, men have gathered in my house to cultivate in ourselves the men we want to be and seed the development of other men’s groups to do the same. Until seeing Martin’s TED video, I didn’t think much of how our group is also an expression of our need for menspace.
Our need for space is in our DNA. If we don’t create it consciously, we will create unconsciously – that is often not pleasurable for others or ourselves. How do you get space? Whom do you share it with? What are you willing to do to get and keep it? Let us know.