Living in the land of in-between

in-be•tween                                                                                                                                   situated somewhere between two extremes or recognized categories; intermediate

I am two months and eighteen days living in-between. It is both empty and full, steeped with the messiness of what’s inside all in-betweens, that of life. Teaming with self-doubt, questions and possibilities, I struggle to find a way to stay present to this very magical, fertile, fragile and at times terrifying place that I have chosen. I know that at some point I will look back on this time and see the random, loose, threads floating in unseen currents of my life, and they will appear as a weaving—a beautiful weaving—the threads all joined into a garment that will serve to be the fabric of my life. Right now, I can barely see the weaver, let alone the loom.

The last time I was directed toward a creative endeavor, I used my hands for peeling and sanding sticks…I wondered if that might be what would come now. Most of me trusted that something creative would come, but little frightened parts of me feared that when given the chance, nothing would come; that when I asked the question I would be answered by only silence, no inspiration would show up, singing to me in the middle of the night, taking me by the hand and dancing me through a field of wonder.

There were other little frightened parts that demanded to know; who did I think I was anyway? I had no right to think that my life could have a different rhythm than what our current culture keeps demanding that we all churn away to. I have looked into the faces of these little frightened parts before. They are lonely ones, tucked away here and there. Silenced or sent off to foreign lands they don’t necessarily disappear. They still have my address, they still know my name…how to get my attention. A friend wrote to me when I mentioned to her that these little demons had come to visit. I told her that I had thought they were gone, and was devastated at times, when they reappeared. She replied, “I don’t know if our demons ever go away, or if you just get to grow old with them, slowly watching them become, maybe, prettier and prettier…” A gift of wise words from one much younger than I.

The onset of this journey was the scariest. What if it was all just silence and then nothing? What if nothing would come? Here in these woods, I have many sticks to choose from, but in the silence that I allowed, the answer came not in the form of sticks. What happened was that I began. Again. To write.

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