This garden is filled with doors, gates, fairy fences, pathways that lead nowhere, hidden gardens, garden walls, tree-branch ceilings, etc.
It offers many places to be.
And many spaces between.
The word liminal comes from the Latin root “limen,” meaning threshold. In architecture, liminal space exists between two destinations. It’s a transitional space that isn’t just external, but internal as well.
I’ve grown familiar with liminal space. I’ve been here a while and even this threshold where I find myself seems barely static enough for me to perceive it. Like images of a dream, they slip away almost as soon my mind’s eye finds them.
Around three years ago, I decided to leave my job to work for myself again I wasn’t sure what form that work would take, but I knew I had the resources to figure it out along the way. After all, I had done that before. Shortly thereafter, when my husband decided to leave the Air Force, he found a job on the other side of the country. That set off a series of changes: we moved across the country and into a rental, the kids started school, we started settling, the pandemic took shape, he deployed to NYC, he returned unsure of what he wanted to do with his future, we committed to staying and bought a house in town, we started virtual school, I got COVID, vertigo lingered, I started falling, I broke my coccyx, the world starting opening up, it’s closing down again, and I’ve been floating through liminality ever since. Now, my children are starting school again and I am once again looking at my work schedule and deciding how much I can hold.
Glimpses of clarity and groundedness offer support, and thankfully, they are increasing in frequency. They are stepping stones just close enough for me to focus on, hop to, balance, find another, and gradually move “forward” … sometimes into the fog. More often than not, lately, I am moving toward a horizon that I can see.
Throughout this journey, I haven’t always been able to see a horizon or discern which way to go. I’ve trusted my instincts, when they’ve spoken to me, and trusted my way forward.
Here I am.
Here you are.
Where are you?
Take a moment, perhaps close your eyes, and find your space. Are you floating? Grounded? Held? Do you see where you are headed?
Perhaps, you see that you are going in a different direction than you had once planned.
Even now as I set my plan for offering psychotherapy and training, I’m not clear that this is what I will do two years from now. It might be a small piece of it, but not the whole thing.
My therapist reminds me this is normal for women of my age range. My family supports me where I am. My husband encourages me, even, to figure this out and let it unfold.
I want the security of my income. He wants the security of my happiness.
This brings me to my latest liminal space. I felt it so strongly yesterday. I felt two forces: One pulling me into despair for the state of the world and the other pulling me forward into motion, into hope, into seeing and realizing the pictures that I can sometimes make out in my mind, and then evaporate before me.
The forces weren’t equal though, the one of despair was merely a thought. There was no emotion or experience of despair to go along with it. It was almost like an old habit or a flavor I no longer craved. There was no emotional charge. All the emotion when toward hope … toward trusting and realizing a dream I can’t yet see, but trust I will reveal.
I’m finding comfort here, in the space between what was and what will be.