The word that’s soothed my soul

by | 12 Jul 2020 | Blog, Change

I have a recurring experience that I used to find unsettling and puzzling. These days I’ve learned to just go with it, with some bemusement and curiosity.

Every now and then, a word forces its way into my life. Usually it’s a word that’s just always been in my periphery – not part of my day to day language, and usually one where I have only a very vague sense of what it actually means.

Until it starts urgently whispering in my ear by popping up more and more often in unexpected places and odd contexts. It gets louder and louder, like a small child looking for my attention, until with a sigh I have to stop what I’m doing and turn to find out what it’s all about.

The most recent word finally got me to stop and listen to it properly the morning. And oh, it is a beautiful word. I understand now why it’s been haunting me, drifting in and out of my awareness. But only after I’d looked it up..

Liminal

I like the way the word feels in my mouth, playfully connecting and bouncing between tongue and palette, onto lips and back again. It’s sound reminds me of a sigh.

Liminal

And it’s meanings are perfect for the place I find myself on so many levels. Coming from the Latin for threshold, it can describe a barely perceptible sensory boundary; and it can describe the space in between, as we let go of what we once were and before we become what we will be. It’s a word that means between or belonging to two different places, states, phases, conditions. It’s a wonderful word to hold us in not-knowingness, to help us be safely lost.

Menopause, my physical liminal stage; stepping away from employment and building the foundations of my new business; not quite locked down, not quite free; old society constructs challenged and crumbling, the new not yet emerging.

Ah yes, my life is liminal, and I love it. No wonder the word wanted me to find it, even teasing me with a subliminal gentle play on words! 

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