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How One Journey Illuminates Another

In the fall of 2022, I turned 70 years of age.

Children and grandchildren rightly celebrated the occasion with the sacraments of chocolate cake and ice cream. 

They ask, "Does this birthday feel any different? Which new directions would you like to pursue in this chapter of your life?"

“I plan to spend some time figuring that out," I answer.

Consultants like Susan Beaumont name occasions such as entering a new phase of life as liminal times. The phrase comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold. Along with many friends and institutions, I am stepping across a threshold, "cross-checked" into the new. 

I have no choice about whether or not I enter this arena of life but I can choose how I engage.

Joan Didion once wrote, "Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind, there would have been no reason to write."

Amen! 

So write I shall, trusting my most reliable spiritual practice to yield illumination about the immediate next steps and the path ahead.

A trip to Italy has been on the calendar for my wife and I for months.

During a long walk on a chilly Victoria morning, the thought occurs that the upcoming physical journey to Italy may act as text, metaphor, or prompt to reflect on this liminal time.

The following series of reflections stem from that mustard seed of insight. I shall endeavour to post twice a week and would be grateful for reflections arising from your own experience of liminal times.

Photo by Richard Burlton on Unsplash

Is life really just a series of liminal moments?

In recent decades, the number of transition points in life has exponentially increased. Now, the dots connecting life's critical decisions more likely resemble the trajectory of a pinball machine than a straight line. Does naming the key transitions deepen relationships, even with ourselves?

2 Comments

  1. I appreciate the ‘cross-checked’ image, Keith! The spiritual practice that is helping me with my own liminal time has been guitar picking. Some folks in my life wonder why I am focusing so much time on it … but one friend commented ‘what harm can it do’. And besides, there is very little carbon footprint associated with guitar playing. I appreciate your musings Keith and I stop what I am doing to read the latest when they arrive in my inbox.

    With thanks.

    Gordon

    1. Thanks Gordon. I think guitar playing, like all music, always takes us to a slightly different place, perhaps one that is more peaceful.

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