What comes to mind when you think of the following items?
What if I make it multiple choice:
a) The latest round of perfectly normal celebrity baby names
d) The story of a swashbuckling moose and his bumbling lobster sidekick who sail around the world on a schooner fueled by blueberries
If you answered b, you’re correct
If you answered c, you’re also correct
If you answered a, you’re probably psychic and will be correct in the very near future
If you answered d, you’re probably a writer
All right, so what the heck am I babbling on about?
- My husband and I are moving to Maine
- The concept of liminality
My husband has been a woodworker for some time and we have a full shop in the basement, filled with terrifyingly sharp things such as the bandsaw. See what happens when you don’t respect the bandsaw:
He spends his free time down there building furniture for our house (and trying to keep all his appendages fully intact):
And we finally decided it was time to take his love for woodworking to the next level. So, this August we’ll be heading to coastal Maine where Logan will begin a nine-month comprehensive program in fine furniture making at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.
This means leaving his job at the hospital where he’s worked for almost twelve years. It also means leaving behind a steady paycheck, a nice benefit package and the comfort of knowing I could buy as much tulle as I wanted at the fabric store. It also means traveling across the country with three cats, learning to live with humidity, and shopping for a much more substantial winter coat.
Ultimately, it’s a period of letting go of the past, and experiencing, processing and reconciling the unknown.
This leads me to my next point: Liminality.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, liminal is defined as:
-Of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process
-Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold
The term was originally used in the context of societal rituals and there is often a ceremony that accompanies the transition. A common example is the transition between childhood and adulthood, marked by the graduation of high school or college.
Over time, the term has been applied more loosely and I tend to identify big liminal events as being marked by some sort of party:
-The going away party
-The bridal shower
-The baby shower
-The housewarming party
(So, in case you weren’t sure if you were in the midst of a liminal event, if someone wants to throw you a party, you probably are)
It’s in these times of liminality, where we are neither here, nor there, that there is an unusual opportunity for growth, an opportunity to push ourselves, to try new things and discover something new about ourselves.
So, we’ll be packing up soon, fully embracing our liminality, ready to see what happens next!