Liminality by Carrie Newcomer
So much of what we know
Lives just below the surface.
Half of a tree
Spreads out beneath our feet.
Living simultaneously in two worlds,
Each half informing and nurturing
A tree is either and neither
But mostly both.
I am drawn to liminal spaces,
The half-tamed and unruly patch
Where the forest gives way
And my little garden begins.
Where water, air and light overlap
Becoming mist on the morning pond.
I like to sit on my porch steps, barn jacket and boots
In the last long exhale of the day,
When bats and birds loop in and then out,
One rising to work,
One readying for sleep.
And although the full moon calls the currents,
And the dark moon reminds me that my best language
Has always emerged out of the silence,
It is in the waxing and waning
Where I most often live,
Neither here nor there,
But simply On the way.
There are endings and beginnings
One emerging out of the other.
But most days I travel in an ever present
And curious now.
A betwixt and between,
That is almost,
But not quite,
But not yet.
I’ve been learning to live with what is,
More patient with the process,
To love what is becoming,
And the questions that keep returning.
I am learning to trust
The horizon I walk toward
Is an orientation
Not a destination
And that I will keep catching glimpses
Of something great and luminous
From the corner of my eye.
I am learning to live where losses hold fast
And grief lets loose and unravels.
Where a new kind of knowing can pick up the thread.
Where I can slide palms with a paradox
And nod at the dawn,
As the shadows pull back
And spirit meets bone.
From Until Now: New Poems by Carrie Newcomer. Copyright © 2021 Carrie Newcomer. Published by Available Light Publishing. Check out Carrie’s website, here.
Carrie Newcomer’s latest poem came to my attention this past week. It seemed to echo the energy and feelings of the both/and and an invitation to bridge the duality of light and dark in a presentation. “Bridging the Duality of Light & Shadow in Your SoulCollage® Deck” presentation with Catherine Anderson and Kiala Givehand was one of several workshops as part of a weekend celebration of the 20th anniversary of SoulCollage®. You can read more about the creative, soul tending process here https://listening-heart.com/soulcollage/
The lessons of moving through liminal space and the in-between time was something I thought I had learned several years ago. In fact, I blogged about it. https://wordpress.com/post/listening-heart.com/733 What I’ve discovered in recent months is that was that was then. This is now. This is a new invitation to lean into this liminal time and space and discover new awareness, awakenings and gifts.
In my experience, there are two moments of each day help us celebrate and go beyond the limitations of our imaginations. They help us strengthen our spiritual muscles to hold tensions and navigate transitions. At sunrise, we breath into and welcome a brand new day of possibilities, of light and of hope. Our day becomes pregnant with events, activities, meetings, gatherings, phone calls, laundry, cooking and running errands. Then, as the sun sets in shades of purple, pink, orange, and and silver light, and the moon rises for it’s night time dance across the sky, we exhale great THANKS and AMEN and let go of the day.
Both times of the day provide us invitations to bathe in mysterious liminal in between space. In the space between darkness and light is the place where many of us find ourselves today.
Somewhere in our psyche or our reptilian brains, we’ve learned that darkness was to be avoided – even feared. Greek mythology says Prometheus gave the gift of fire to the ancients ensuring their ability to cook, stay warm and see in the dark. Still darkness, for many centuries, has often been seen as the opposite of light, the place where the divine cannot be found.
However, darkness has more recently been reclaimed as the place of pregnant possibilities and an opportunity for soul-work and for letting go of the known and leaning into the unknown. St. John of the Cross endured his “dark night of the soul” because he always saw Light in the dark which he named God. This “holy darkness” is a space for deep diving into the soul, a place for wonderment and profound reflection, a space full of hope for what likes beyond. When we view it as a both/and, it is not to be feared but to be embraced for the gift it can and does provide. Barbara Brown Taylor, in her spiritual work Learning to Walk in the Dark, surmises, “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light” (2014).
After reading Carrie’s poem and Barbara’s quote, the image above immediately came to mind. It’s one of my favorite images I’ve captured through a camera lens. I dare say I love it. It’s our corn field that you can’t quite make out in the distance. It’s the harvest of not-yet and what is to be. I stand in the Now among the trees breathing in their exhalations of oxygen.
I, too, am drawn to liminal places and spaces as Carrie is. The Celts call them “the thin places”. It is the space where I touch the holy and encounter the divine. On one hand it’s uncertain and scary and at the same time it is exciting when I wonder what lies beyond this time and place.
Perhaps this liminal space of this time – this Before and After – is an invitation to hold the both/and, to be here now in a way where there is no duality, no either/or but a genuine both/and of mind, body and spirit.
Perhaps Now is the time, space and place to dance in and with the Divine with abandonment, free from judgment, learning to trust that what lies beyond the edge of the fog is Rumi’s field where the soul lies down in the grass the world is too full to talk about, out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing.
Perhaps the invitation is for all of us to meet there as friends.
Blessings ~ Christy
(This was originally posted in the World of SoulCollage, Spiritual Companion Village on Mighty Networks. Edited for continuity.To join the World of SoulCollage, please visit https://community.soulcollage.com/share/0idVEDn9xegF49zM?utm_source=manual )
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that this blog, photos, social media postings serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)
One thought on “Liminality”
Christy, I am touched by the depth of your reflection and how well you have articulated it. I love the image and Carrie Newcomer poem as well as the reflections they spurred in you.