On the edge


The Wild Hunt of Odin — Peter Nicolai Arbo

The central theme I seem magnetically drawn to has only just dawned on me.

It is the ambiguous and disorientating condition of the threshold. The place that is neither here nor there. In English we call it the liminal, from the Latin limen (threshold)

In previous posts I found myself interested in the infinitely varied boundary conditions ‘recently’ discovered via ‘chaos theory’; That sliver of magic, sandwiched between the terrifying behemoths of certainty and infinity.

It sometimes feels as though existence itself; all that we can sense, know and experience; Is just such a threshold condition. A precarious balance fought over by two unknown immensities.

A tightrope act; a bridge; a flash of lightening.

Man is a rope stretched over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.

What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.

Who would not find interest in the conditions at the threshold? For where else can change happen? It is a magic trick though. It is only ‘time’ that gives the illusion that ‘things’ are happening; A ‘time’ that means nothing to the immovable powers we are sandwiched between.

Anything is possible at the gap between the worlds; At least from the viewpoint of our previous condition of limitation.

‘Liminality’ is an anthropological term. It refers to the quality of uncertainty and equivocation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when the participant loses contact with the state they were previously in, but have not yet begun the transition to the state they will transform into when the rite is complete. They are neither fish nor fowl. This is the birth process; The dark night of the soul; The descent of ‘chapel perilous’. A malleable situation where things are most definitely ‘in the balance.’

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