This blog is a spandrel, which unless you’re an architect or a cathedral buff, means nothing to you.

Until now.

A spandrel is “the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure.” It is created incidentally by the juxtaposition of more important components.

Spandrel 2

I’m using the term metaphorically to refer to the “accidental” spaces created by the main story arches in our lives and what we fill them with—like this blog. Cells Behaving Badly, now OPEN Mike, occupies a space inadvertently formed by two realities that give structure to who I am.

Arch One – I am a writer
What makes someone a writer? At its simplest, he or she writes. It’s a compulsion that has to be expressed daily. In my case, I’ve kept a journal since 1970. I’ve worked on magazines and websites and published a dozen books over the years.

I haven’t sold anything to a publisher since 2004, still, I keep writing. I’ve done six more children’s books that no one is interested in and I’ve got ideas for a few adult books but no way to get them to an audience.

In the past I had toyed with doing a blog but couldn’t see giving away my well-crafted words at the same time I was trying to sell them. Then a compelling topic suggested itself with the advent of a new storyline.

Arch Two – I have cancer
Cancer is a reality I’ve lived with for the past 15 months and despite a successful stem cell transplant its shadow hangs over the future. I’ve read and researched the Big C in general and Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in particular. I’ve experienced firsthand much of what I’ve studied, which adds credibility to what I write.

Based on the number of hits and reader comments, I believe many have been helped by my candid musings on things physical and spiritual. I’ve developed mutually beneficial relationships based on common questions and shared suffering.

My blog may wind up having more impact than anything else I’ve written. I wouldn’t have guessed—or chosen—this 16 months ago but now it’s something I wouldn’t have missed.

Your Spandrels

I’m sure you have a spandrel or two in your life; some empty spaces between arches, unplanned and unused. Don’t let them go to waste. Be proactive and creative. Try something new. Take a few risks. Improvise. Invent.

When our cathedrals are complete I suspect the incidental will turn out to be important and the mundane may be spotlighted as the showcase of the divine.



4 thoughts on “Spandrels

  1. Thanks, Mike. Well spoken. I will have to figure out what my “empty spaces” are. Sometimes I find that as I am reading along in my Bible, that a few verses or even one thought will fill a small empty place and give me something to ponder. Especially good since my thoughts are usually like fleas–never still! Oh well! See you soon, Love, Mom

  2. What a beautiful way to begin my day. Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. BTW, have you seen Julie & Julia? And it all started with her blog.

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