Saturday, April 23, 2016

Story Telling Saturday's: The Truth in Liminal Space

I am friends with a dear man who I do not talk to much anymore named Ryan Bell. He is known for being the man who lived a year without God and now lives a life after God. In his time of discovery he lived in what he calls liminal space. I never looked it up until recently and learned that liminal comes from the Latin word for threshold.

This is a time of transition for many. Where what you were no longer holds true and you go through a period of deconstrution and then rebuild to be defined as something new. It is a time of facing the shame of the past and embracing discovery and enrichment and formerly forbidden ideas and desires and passions. That in between space is liminal space.

Liminal space is the river that we take a ferry from one side to the other. We cross over. This brings me to the most profound moment I ever had when I was a taxi driver. A driver named Mark who was so wise and zen and profound looked at me and asked me a question. He asked me if I was all right. I said I was, but I could not understand that I was beginning to like the life of a taxi driver in the night. He looked at me for a moment and said, "You are Siddhartha." He knew somehow that I would get the joke.

Long story short, Siddhartha tried to find contentment crossing the river from one state of being to the next and met a ferryman. In time, Siddhartha would join the ferryman and find more pleasure living in the river. He found the threshold to have more beauty than the destination. Siddhartha found peace and enlightenment by studying the river and helping others cross over. Most of his truth was found in the river. In the threshold as opposed to a destination or need for a new label.

I spent a lifetime trying to find a space a belong and placing my life and my relationships into categories that made sense. The truth is, I have found my space for now to be in the river, in the threshold. A space with no labels, no definitions and no plans. A space of acceptance of the flow. The river is not the in between, it is the river. Others can build their bridges and ride their ferry, but there is joy here. There is peace. There is no need to define friend, lover, enemy. There is no good and evil. There is just the flow.

In the threshold and the river I have learned that there are some things that do not have definitions because not only are they too beautiful for convention, but words are limited and can never communicate the wonder. I can never explain some of the things I experience well. Letting go of the idea of plans and definitions have made the world more amazing. Enlightenment is not something that can be described. The joy in what some call liminal is seeing that the river flows out into lakes and oceans only to be returned by the rains and melting ice of mountains. Life and death and pain and pleasure and happiness and sorrow and good and evil are so beautifully interwoven into the current and there are so many more lessons to be learned here.

The truth in liminal space is acceptance without plans or agenda or definitions...merely wondrous acceptance. For now, there is no threshold to another space, there is no shore. There is only this space and I still have lessons to learn here and I like it here. The truth of liminal space is freedom from the shores and destinations.

As you cross the river, think kindly of the ferryman and know that he loves where he is at. He used to seek shores and plans for contentment and now enjoys the Liminal River.

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