Thirdspace: what is created when we gather with others

In her book ‘The Art of Gathering’ Priya Parker asks why we gather. She says:

We gather to solve problems we can’t solve on our own. We gather to celebrate, to mourn, and to mark transitions. We gather to make decisions. We gather because we need one another. We gather to show strength. We gather to honor and acknowledge. We gather to build companies and schools and neighborhoods. We gather to welcome, and we gather to say goodbye.

When we bring people together, creating safe clearings in which we can become reacquainted with ourselves and build and extend community together, something new arises between us – the ‘thirdspace’.

This ‘thirdspace’ in turn becomes a holding possibility for all purposes of gathering, allowing us to turn towards the exploration of the big questions we have about life, living and our engagement with the world around us in all its forms.

Resting in and being supported by the energy of the thirdspace, we can attend to our own development and the development of others.

However we gather – face-to-face or on-line, in beautiful indoor spaces or the wild outdoors, as single events or recurring commitments – our intention is to foster what Parker Palmer describes as membership ‘that people care for each other and, even in absence, hold each other in a kind of presence’, to have the thirdspace be an enduring sense of home for the members of our community.

Banner image: ‘Early Morning’ by Howard Hodgkin