This week’s liminal photo has a name. Haha, pretentious, considering the quality of my photography? Much. But it still has a name: “Stairway to Heaven.”
I like this photo because a perfectly liminal space is that between life and death, earth and heaven.
Have you been watching for #liminality? What have you found?
Here is a poem by H.D. that I thought of because of the record heat wave in Arizona this week. Hilda Doolittle is a poet whose poems I worked with for my dissertation. Ultimately, I dropped her as one of my subjects, choosing to focus on Jorie Graham, Sylvia Plath, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Linda Hogan, for the most part. Her work was so precise and crystalline and so focused on her classical allusions, that it wasn’t warm enough for me (sorry for the pun). But this poem perfectly captures the heavy hot air. The air that makes it difficult for the lungs to expand.
O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air--
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat--
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
Last week I posted about liminality, defined as a space between or on/in a sensory threshold. A transitional state. You can read more about it here.
When I traveled to my home state in October 2014, I had not visited Michigan for quite some time, and it was a very intense, emotional trip for me. Although I’d spent a lot of time with my parents out west, I hadn’t been to see them on the land where I grew up.
There is a way that I could think of that visit as a liminal space because it was the threshold that led into my father’s illness and eventual death in May 2015. It was the last time I saw my father before his illnesses, although he might have already been sick at the time–and nobody realized it. Our relationship began to change after this trip.
I found a photo from that visit that I find to be symbolic of liminality: the dock at my parents’ home. The dock is a passageway between land and water. If you walk off the dock into the water, you had better know how to swim or be wearing a life jacket.
I wasn’t prepared for walking off the dock that fall, but luckily I had had swimming lessons as a kid.
By the way, that wire across the top of the photo? I thought about cropping it out, but it seems important somehow.
I’ve always had a thing for liminality. Yup, liminality. Doesn’t it feel good on your tongue? According to Merriam-Webster (remember her?):
Definition of liminal
1: of or relating to a sensory threshold
2: barely perceptible
3: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition :in-between, transitional<in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt>
I love that in between space there. You know, anywhere. Passageways like cupboards and rabbit holes and wardrobes. The place of process, like focusing on the process of art instead of the finished product. The place of change where you are different at one end than you were at the other.
I thought I’d let my camera start searching for some of those liminal spaces. If you find any, please share!!!
This one is at the Virginia Dare office and shopping center in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
On Monday I have such a deal coming for you! Watch for it!
In the meantime, life with Slupe is sweet.
Did you think I’ve forgotten about Kana and Tiger (and Pear and Felix)? Nope. I think I have mentioned that Tiger has a little window seat that is all hers. It’s her happy place. I put an X of double faced tape so that Kana can’t lie there and annoy her. She has an ice cube tray with toys so that I can hide treats under the toys. And I placed a mini litter box behind my antique trunk in case Kana blocks her from the ones in the laundry room. Lots of quail and bunnies and lizards for Tiger to watch.
Tiger has a little squeak like a mouse and runs from Kana which prompts Kana to chase her. Sigh. I guess it’s all that liminal space ;).