I wrote this time last year about the liminality between the end of one year and the beginning of the next. This time last year I was writing from a place of stillness, a feeling of unknowing, of pause, of maybe I will be/do this or maybe I will be/do that--this time last year in many ways I was drifting abyss-ward, trying only to hold on to something of myself. I am returning to the time and place I was in this time last year because now, too, as I am writing this letter, in the space before the year has ended, I am revisiting the experience of liminality. Right now my liminal space has not been of the mind or of the the slowing of the season, the darker days, the fierce snap of the cold; my liminal space lately feels literal, physical, my belongings packed away in a storage unit, my life made up of what fits into a laundry basket and a suitcase, dog always in tow, being a guest in too many houses, being not even a guest in my un-home but a ghost. My entire sense of being is in between: in between houses, in between seasons, in between marriage and divorce, in between placelessness and settling, in between letting go and liberation. This year I am clinging once again to that refrain of getting through, an act that is at once comfortable in its familiarity and wearing me thin.
There is more to liminality than getting beyond it. Being caught in between one phase of life and the next in a way that makes so much feel unreal is making it easy to let go of a lot of what once felt like a need. There is room for recalibration, there is recognition of patterns and the desire to break them, there is defeat, and there is discovery. There is support coming from sources that sustain me like water, the people who show love endlessly, and provide comfort and protection even when I have very little in return just now to give beyond gratitude--I am so grateful these days for those who are caring for me in the most unexpected and beautiful ways.
This Christmas was my first without obligation. It was simply a weekend, a luxury I rarely get working a full-time job in the service industry in addition to working as many hours as I can as an editor. I made space to rest and read and take long walks and feed myself--that space, too, a kind of liminality, a nest tucked somewhere just out of sight, away from the usual motions of the rest of my life, the rest of the world; for the first time the holiday felt sacred.
A big part of both my tethering and writing processes is gathering. Because many of my precious items are living in boxes in a climate-controlled liminal space of their own these days, the objects I have chosen to carry with me feel more necessary. A few of these objects came to me unexpectedly, treasures gifted to me in recent days: a copy of Frail Sister by Karen Green; a sea pen; a stunning silver necklace featuring an etching of a heart and a prayer for protection. The last of these gifts was from the my co-editor and friend, E.A. Midnight. She is, and has been, a tether for so long, and I'm realizing that this newsletter is, in fact another love letter to her and everything we are doing together. The Champagne Room itself is meant to be a space, some version of a room, some form of being present in an in-between: the moment before the exhale, both the catching and the release, both the anticipation and all that follows.
If you missed our generative writing workshop in November, we are excited to share another opportunity to write with us this month. Our next workshop will be held via Zoom on Thursday, January 26th from 7:00-9:00pm (EST). We had such a good time hosting our first workshop, and we're looking forward to sharing more prompts and spending more time together focusing on stirring up within the mind the beginnings of something new. The cost to attend this workshop is $10. More information, including registration guidelines, can be found here.
Our contributor conversation this month will be with Lisa Molina, author of the poem "On the Topography of Maps," featured in Issue 02. Her thoughts on the experience of rejection as audition, finding metaphors in doodles, and some of her favorite opening paragraphs will be available on January 15th.
Love and Light,
Founder and Editor, The Champagne Room