When I think of spaces in between:
I think about the space between one culture and another, the space that is created from travel, the space that opens up in oneself from traveling within and understanding different worlds. I think about what it means to be a “third-culture” kid, as my cousin once named it, to have grown up between two countries, sometimes feeling like I did not belong to either, struggling to feel like I belong to both.
I think about sexuality and the ways in which sexuality cannot be defined by only gay and straight. Though many people do identity one way or the other, many more fall somewhere in between. For me that was a difficult space to inhabit for a long time, and bisexual doesn’t capture the complexity that is sexuality, attraction, desire and love in the space between gay and straight. I am comfortable now with that ambiguity, fluidity and identify as queer because of its possibilities and openness, though I know that for many it is a painful/contested word. (Depending on context I will choose other labels that will be better received/understood by my audience).
I think about family and friends and the ways in which these lines blur and cross-over, and how biology and non-biology are both a part of this, and also irrelevant in many cases. What is it that holds relationships together? The shared histories and futures? Interconnections and responsibilities? What is it that hangs out in the spaces in between bodies/people? I think about love for each other and memories, laughter and tears.
I think about what happens at dawn, the space in between night and day, the waking of the world, the settling of the night. I think about what happens in those transitions from one time to another, from lightness to darkness and back again.
I think about the space that is created after a loved one has passed away. They are gone, but not gone, as their memories are still so close, so vivid. They continue to exist in a space between life and death. I do not believe in an after-life, a heaven, but rather that we return to the earth, the universe, that we become part of all that is around us. And so our loved ones are gone, but also here, part of the natural spaces around us, and always in our hearts. I think, also, about the pain of grief, of learning to live with that loss, to realize that there is no “getting over” or “moving on” from a death, but that over time the pain gets easier to carry. It does not become less, but it becomes easier to bear, less likely to cut so deeply.
I think about the ways in which what is memory, what is family-story or legend, what is a dream, and what is fabricated from desire can be hard to tease apart.
I think about how it is sometimes hard to tell truth from fiction.
I think about the way that our lives and our selves are not only about the big events that happen that mark time’s passing—birthdays, graduations, jobs, trips, holidays–but also all the time in between where we live the day-to-day moments of life. Getting up to run with the dog, watching the birds on the feeder outside, swinging in the hammock to read a book, checking facebook, teaching a discussion section, watching a storm on the porch with my Dad, going kayaking with my Mom, tracing the path of one of my baby snails up the side of the tank.
I think about the fact that the world is not black and white, that while we might want to make things simple so much of the world is what happens in the spaces between what might be considered right and wrong. It is about teasing out the nuances, the complexities, the messiness and understanding that each one of us holds onto a different piece of reality and that only by viewing them together do we get an idea of the ways in which power, privilege, oppression, and equality work.