Another liminal stage of this unexpected life. Ah, nothing like a perfect word. (Thank you, Anne, for giving it to me.)
First note, when we moved to Madison twelve years ago, it was to be our permanent home. David and I had given up an east coast replant and saw Madison as the just about perfect midwest place to be for-almost-ever. Okay, there were the winters (100 inches of snow our first winter here) but other than that, it has been pretty perfect place for the three of us.
Second note, ‘perfect word’ reminding me of Native Tongue a feminist science fiction novel by Suzette Haden Elgin. Still one of my favorite and satisfying dystopian stories.
Last note, “liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning ‘a threshold’) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete. During a rite’s liminal stage, participants ‘stand at the threshold’ between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which completing the rite establishes.”
Oh, I am totally in the liminal stage of this transition and what a strange stage it is. The for sale sign in front of my house stands. I notice people walking dogs take note and check if there are any of the flyers left (there are not) and drivers slowing down to look closely at the house. I wish the sign would say ‘Sold’ or the whole sign removed. I understand why it is still here. I was fine for the short time when I wanted someone to buy the house, but now it feels like such a revelation of private family business—a rather naked feeling. Soon, I so hope, I will be out gardening and passers by will have the personal knowledge of the family matter. Someone who I hardly know, or do not know, will stop and ask about the move and I will politely chat. And I would rather hide than chat. Is that me?
I have some time to sort and consolidate document boxes but packing has come to a stand still. I packed up heavy winter clothes last week, only to unpack coats, hats and a few sweaters with our latest cold snap. It is a bit of mental walking around, sighing heavily and wringing my hands with little to do. I am apprehensive about sinking into this lull.
I drive around town appreciating how sweet Madison is. I know this rather smallish city. I love to drive and walk next to water. I know where the movies and stores are. We have favorites for everything and just discovered Smokey Jon’s Barbecue yesterday. I know where my people are.
I sit in meetings knowing I can no long be assigned long term tasks. I refrain from joining new efforts and feel my own distance growing. I sit at coffee with those I will not see soon and yet still depend on their friendship. I get nostalgic about small events I’ve long taken for granted.
I miss planning summer travel. This summer, no Italy, no England, no Australia, no where new. Just a big moving van going to a yet unknown address.
I am more tired than usual, some of that due to the gym but I think some of it is emotional. I go to bed early, or at least want to go to bed early. Julia is not pleased.
I am trying hard not to worry about where we will live. This is a tough one! I have been told my the RE agent I am working with and another one I’ve chatted with that it will be raining rental listings in the spring because summer is the prime time for moving in and around Boston. However, as of yet, there is no listing bloom. In fact, there seems a great dearth of prospects. I am holding my fingers back from typing a frantic email to my RE agent. This Wednesday is 75 days before July 1, projected move-in date, and when I’ve been told I should expect to begin looking. I hate wishing away days; however, . . . .
I find myself is great need of hugs from friends. Not good bye hugs, but hugs to keep me going, to fuel this lull so that I am ready for the next push into transition. And then, I realize that some of the hugs are good bye hugs because I may not see these people again.
I hear from so many friends in this university town where people move to from other places that they have family, friends, business in New England and Boston. They say they will visit. And I want the promises put into writing! And I am warmed completely that they even make such statements.
And I am fine and busy and filling all my days and needing to spend time digging into questions about Mass Health Plans, summer activities for Julia and perhaps something fun for us to do in August.
And I am fine and anxious and still breathing into this liminal moment.