Day 838: It fills the space

I remember a therapy session at work, yesterday, when we were talking about comparing your problems to other people’s problems.   Somebody quoted how Victor Frankl wrote that any problem will fill the available space, like a gas.

I just looked up the exact quote, from Man’s Search for Meaning, and here it is:

To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.

I really appreciated that person filling my office with Victor Frankl’s life-filling thoughts.

I remember, also yesterday, how my ears, mind, heart, and soul were filled with this Stephen Sondheim song, from Evening Primrose:

That song — “I Remember” — is sung by a girl who’s been trapped, from a very young age, inside a department store.

I loved Evening Primrose when I saw it, on television, when I was a kid. What fills my mind now is how I may have related to that girl, since I filled some of my days and nights trapped — not in a department store, but in a Children’s Hospital.

Like that girl, I am filled with appreciation for all those wonderful things that fill the world.

As usual, what filled my ears, eyes, mind, and soul, yesterday — including the beautiful lyrics from “I Remember” — affected how my iPhone was filled with images and  how I fill this post, today:



That “Work Zone” sign  is filling that last photo so much, you might miss the first flowering tree I’ve seen in Boston, this spring.

Feel free to fill the space of a comment here with anything that’s filling you, now, about this post.

I shall now fill the space of this post with my gratitude for my patients, for Victor Frankl, for Stephen Sondheim, for Judy Butterfield, for the sky, for the trees, for everything I experienced yesterday,  and for you.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “Day 838: It fills the space

  1. Light blue skies, dark Red Sox, bright white tree flowers. I think life is filling Boston pretty well right now, Ann, as we head to an important day in early May.

  2. That is an interesting view about a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. I can imagine how that can happen. It is pretty good analogy. I think we should train to open our windows (ears, eyes, mind) to let them out. As the behavior of gas, some will go out of the room and hope there is little left 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  3. So true. Great quote. Xox

  4. seems my little problems
    now, are unworthy of
    today’s sunshine 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing the quote. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that and it should be heard, over and over till its meaning sinks in. Enjoy your warming weather Ann.

  6. I love that quote about gas filling a chamber completely Ann. It is relative and it’s good to remember that what seems small to me, fills the chamber of another. ❤
    Diana xo

  7. That book is fantastic

  8. Love the quote. Other people photographs particular scenes or objects, you photograph passing life. I think your photos may one day be a record of the ordinary day to day appearance of Boston. I shall be away on and off for a couple of weeks, so may need to leapfrog some days of your blog.

  9. I’ve been too full on survival mode to stop and look around, but I appreciate that you’ve done it and I can live vicariously.

  10. What to say, what to say, let me think, I need something to fill this space, well I could say thank you for the post, I could say I have never heard of Victor Frank and I could say that most people don’t seem to like to slow down through a work zone but that may be because often there are signs that it is work zone but there are no workers anyway.

  11. Regarding the Frankl analogy on suffering (of the gas filling up the space) – I wonder if those with a more terrifying experience would still have a more intense form of suffering than those who had experienced something relatively minor; even though they may both experience that suffering on a constant basis.

  12. Feeling humbly and a little crumbly as I think of victor frankl and the work he brought to us. Thank for creating more space today Ann!

  13. You will soon be filling up with Spring Ann:

    Team Ann admiral, seeing your world as my world.

  14. Pingback: Day 839: Never worry alone | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  15. Unfortunately, I never saw Evening Primrose, but I do know the song. Cleo Laine gives an especially moving version, and I thank you for the memory. I am quite a fan of Sondheim’s.

  16. Pingback: Day 2124: Space | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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