Monday, October 11, 2004

Betwixt and Between

 I have been meditating on liminality a lot lately.  

Liminal, from the Latin word Limin, threshold, as an adjective means 1 relating to a transitional or initial stage. 2 at a boundary or threshold (Compact Oxford English Dictionary). In Anthropology, liminality  refers to "the transitional period or phase of a rite of passage, during which the participant lacks social status or rank, remains anonymous, shows obedience and humility..."(Fact Monster).  

 I remember this vaguely from my Religious Studies major. In Primitive Cultures, the boy is taken from his mother's house, and marched into the bush, where he undergoes arduous, humiliating, and painful ritual, to emerge, reborn. He then returns to his village to take his place as an adult in the community.

 In more modern terms:  

Liminality: is the state of being neither- this-nor-that, betwixt and between, neither me nor not me, like the mythic Cynocephalus (dog-headed human).             

                                                                      -Victor Turner  

This is how I feel, neither me nor not me. It is as if I have stepped out of one life, a normal working woman's life(well, as normal as possible, considering I ran HIV positive women's support groups at a high level security women's prison)and into...what? A year of terrible pain and physical therapy, and now -terminal liminality?  

 I  don't plan to be terminally liminal, of course. I will work my way  into some other life, slowly, of course. My pain is not as terrible, just chronic, but this being neither-this-nor-that IS as bizarre as the mythic Cynocephalus(what ever that is). Still, I supposed it is not surprising that someone who has a working diagnosis of Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place, would be living in a state of Betwixt and Between.  

Blessings, Margo      

12 comments:

ryanagi said...

Even if your health is caught between that proverbial rock and a hard place, your mind and spirit don't have to be. Let them roam and be free. I hope you find peace, tranquility and a state of being that satisfies you.  

When others are in desperate situations in their personal, financial or emotional lives; people say "Well, at least you have your health." What do you do if you DON'T "have your health"? You make everything ELSE as good as possible. [insert wry grin here] I am pretty lucky in that respect. My health is crap. But everything else seems to be pretty good at the moment. I guess I can take solace in that.

-B

jadzia7667 said...

You will find your way to a satisfying life......and things will even out.  You are in my thoughts :)

judithheartsong said...

I so admire you dear Margo and am glad the journals brought us together. xoxox, judi

indigosunmoon said...

You just described me Margo!
Except for working at the prison!  
We'll get through this...
Lovish!
Connie

chasingmoksha said...

I think of you a lot.  I just do not know what to offer, how to help, or what to say.  It has to get better!

yorksrose04 said...

Hi Margo, i wonder do we all have to go through the state of liminality, to understand and become the "me" we are going to be.  To rest in the limbo that is betwixt & between. Its just so unfair that some people achieve it in such awful ways.
Does being in this state make us strive to become what we will be. I just dont know, i do know that i wish you could be pain free.
blessings to you wrapped in painkilling wings.
Yorksrose xx

hestiahomeschool said...

I will carry this entry with me the rest of the day....there is a lot here to mull over. Blessings to you...

chasingmoksha said...

Margo, you have not updated in a while.  I am hoping you are doing okay.

blondepennierae said...

Margo, this entry is beautiful.  Those of us that have lived through the transition can look back and say, "Margo put it into words!  She actually described what I thought couldn't be put into words".  It took me about two years to come to full acceptance of the new me that emerged from the change of my 'once life' into my 'now life'.  You are a beautiful person and the person that is emerging will still be that beautiful woman, but with differences.  It isn't easy, but most things aren't.  My thoughts are always with you.  Pennie  

jeanno43 said...

Missing you Margo, hope everything is o.k. and you will be posting again soon.  Best wishes

dhcelt said...

Hmm, very interesting entry - I like how you've thoroughly explored the word.

judithheartsong said...

I am thinking of you today..............warm hugs, judi