We have gone into “lockdown” again. Since the start of the pandemic, or at least since the effects of it first arrived here, we have been a liminal state – a place between – between before Covid-19 and after Covid-19. There has been a lot of talk about what “after” might look like, but I cannot imagine it. I am just in “between”. There has been suffering in this place for many, but I have not suffered more than I normally would, considering my on-going, recurrent human condition of confusion and reaction, which I work at managing.
I am aware that my friends and family in the US are not only in the “between” of the pandemic, but also between presidents. They may also feel caught between the many factions, ideologies, identities and injustices that run right through the American “dream”. Their outgoing president has altered so much in how Americans view themselves and how others view them that they don’t really know where this will lead them to. Chris and I have comforted ourselves by listening to the American singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Songs from Home as she sings to all those who are “in between” from her Virginian home each Sunday. Her deep humanity, empathy and sanity reassure us.
I have been able to be still enough at times to witness the place of “between” in its potentiality – and it intrigues and inspires me. I am certainly not always comfortable with it, but sometimes I quite like it. It is possible to move in this place too.
I walk along the beach
between tides –
the sand wet but firm.
My feet leave barely a trace.
There is no sense of sinking.
The tide line is drawn
with seaweeds, shells, tangled net
and ever present broken
bits of human litter.
I feel light and begin to move,
opening my body to
being between –
sea and sky, earth and air,
now and later, solid and fluid,
under and over, great and small.
Not caught between –