Liminality is a concept from anthropology, and refers to the intermediate state during a rite of passage where the participant temporarily lacks social status or rank. They’re at the whims of their elders, and must demonstrate obedience and humility in addition to performing all sorts of rituals. The term comes from the Latin word for threshold.
Neither here nor there, but in between.
Not quite one, nor the other.
I tend to have difficulty with liminal states. I typically enjoy the safety of being definitely something. Like married. I really liked the concept of marriage, the social status of being married, the recognition of a particular kind of relationship, of a family. I found it very frustrating to be “the girlfriend” or “the fiancee” when I was seriously dating my then husband.
I’m finding it similarly frustrating now.
Part of me want it all, right now. To be done with, one way or the other, to trade liminality for status.
But the larger part of me, the older and wiser and experienced part of me, tells me that this part of the relationship will never happen again, and I should just slow down and enjoy the ride.
Enjoy the moment, enjoy those little discoveries that will never be new again. Appreciate the fact that the newness will be gone one day, but don’t dwell in mourning its passing.
The shyness, the uncertainty of when and how to touch, or kiss, or hold hands – this will be gone one day. Shyness is a sweet hesitation, born of respect, and a little fear of the new and untested. It’s beautiful.
Whispers, lover’s secrets. The painful hunger for his body when sleeping alone in my bed. The incandescence of yearning, and of joy when we come back together.
It will all change. I won’t dwell in mourning the passing of the newness, and I won’t dwell in the frustration of this liminal state. I will live these moments with gratitude, so grateful am I to be here, at this moment, having these experiences.