Liminal was always my favorite word.

“The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One’s sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition where normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed – a situation which can lead to new perspectives.

People, places, or things may not complete a transition, or a transition between two states may not be fully possible. Those who remain in a state between two other states may become permanently liminal.”

I remember recognizing the word for the first time at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Madison and I were hanging out for the first time. Mom, Dad, Seamus were all there. We sat in theater seats for hours on end, watching studies of movement, representative language, changing love letters, water in glasses, planes over Tokyo. In part of one film, a clock hand moved so slowly for so long that you were certain it hadn’t moved at all. “Liminal,” along with a definition, was at the bottom of the screen. The hand never reached the next mark, nor had it ever been on the first.
I think it was then that I started to realize how malleable everything was. I’d always been a chameleon, but to recognize that it is so easy to brain-wash someone because of how constructed we all are was scary and inspiring.
That’s one of the reasons it’s so good to be on the road again. I’m in-between, indeterminable, always gaining the brink and creating new ones as I do. It’s not being off the grid – I’m more connected to everyone in my state of in-between than I am in my rooted-state. It’s the beauty and the horror of the Internet physically manifest with my hands on the wheel and my foot on the pedal. A text vibrating at my hip, A Silver Mount Zion droning in my ears, all the points of light accenting the infinitely more present dark of the unknown.
We live in metaphor. We create our world in ways we comprehend, and we comprehend our world in ways it creates. The world isn’t confusing or scary, it’s just unknown. And that can be way more fun. Or maybe that’s just my “I’m ready for pizza, let’s end this entry” end.

Speaking of End, he’s here. Or Nature, if you prefer. Life is an odd one.

2 thoughts on “liminal

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