Lately I feel as if I’m caught betwixt and between, stuck in a liminal state.
Anthropologist Arnold van Gennep defined the concept of liminality as “in-between situations and conditions that are characterized by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies, and uncertainty regarding the continuity of tradition and future outcomes.”
My, Arnold, you do have a way with words.
Frankly, this is always a liminal time of year for me. The semester is over, but my grading isn’t done. Spring is clearly ending but summer hasn’t begun. I’m transitioning from a world structured by my day job to a world without structure. Pile onto that the fact that I’ve just finished a draft of one novel and must begin a draft of another, and the sensation of being stuck between one state and another is complete.
I’m not complaining, per se, but grappling for an explanation as to why I feel so very, very blah. My attempts at grading have been desultory at best. Rather than dive into that new novel, I’ve distracted myself by writing a piece of flash fiction that, in all likelihood, makes no sense. It doesn’t help that it’s been raining and raining and raining.
This will pass. That’s the great thing about liminality. It’s a period of transition. Temporary. Fleeting. I will submit my grades. Summer will come. I will travel (to Spain, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, and England to name a few) and I’ll frolic in a world of unfettered writing time.
But, for now, for today, I’m stuck. I wallow, my only companions dislocation, reversal, and uncertainty.