Reblog: Liminal Space | Does this count as #14?

Writing every day for 120 days is all right. It’s not a burden, but it does require clarity. Sometimes the fog settles in. It has this week. Outside it’s soupy, just like my thoughts. The same thoughts swirling in my head this morning, are still here this evening. When I walked the dogs this morning and again this evening, I thought of this blog from last year. I reread it tonight. I obviously completed it on a morning when I felt particularly clear-minded. There were no barbed wire dreams that week. Maybe some yoga tomorrow morning will clear the fog? Until then, I’m claiming “Liminal Space”. 

Liminal Space

Originally published December 16, 2017

My friend, Karin, and I were talking on the phone yesterday.

Two important points before I go further: I use my “smartphone” as it was originally intended, to speak to another human being, and I have a friend named Karin, only she is Karin with an “i”. Sorry, the third point, I love that I have a friend who shares my name.

The two of us are in a transition. A friend of Karin described this transition from being married to being single as liminal space.

What is A Liminal Space
What is A Liminal Space? Answer found at

Can I just start by stating the obvious? It is so cool that I am “betwixt and between”. How often do you get to use betwixt in your life? I can see myself going overboard with this phase of my life, I imagine future conversations like this:

“How are you Karen?”

“I’m great, I’m in liminal space.”


Reading about liminal space yesterday helped me appreciate, a word I am probably overusing this week, journey. Here are a few examples of why I know I am in liminal space:

a good space where genuine newness can begin: I made a few decisions this year, one important one that I postponed for many years, is a re-entry into politics. Between Former Rod Blagojevich’s Soviet-style bureaucracy remarks and takeover of the state board of education and Jacob Meister’s senate race a few years ago that abruptly ended with supporting Alexi Giannoulias, it’s fair to say that I burnt out, turned off, felt icky and disgusted about the politicization of education and the incestuous nature of Illinois politics. This summer I attended a workshop hosted by Vote Run Lead at Galvanize Chicago, a two-day conference run sponsored by the United State of Women. There I started the process of telling my story and identifying my issues, honing in on the core issues entrenched in experiences that would motivate me to run. I clarified those issues and motivations last month at Run As You Are, hosted by Vote Run Lead. Gathering for three days with more than 200 women across the country I realized that the #metoo movement will allow me to re-enter politics. I pledge to help other women get elected this cycle, to work as a precinct committeewoman, and to support other women’s understanding of policies that intimately affect us as women, mothers, and caregivers. This is a new and positive spin on previous political experiences that soured my desire to be engaged. I like this newness.

this is sacred space where the old world can fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed: I used to write a lot. Two decades of journals expressed the same problems with love and sadness, the latter prevalent when dealing with addictions. A few years ago, I read through the journals dated from 1994 to 2004. The themes were recurrent. I read twenty years of not being strong enough to say this is not what I want or what I need. I never took the time for liminal space between two marriages. I moved to Portland, Maine to remove myself from it, and later to Springfield, IL to distance myself from it, and yet I never really did the work to understand why I went through with the first marriage. Yesterday, when Karin said this is where we are at, I agreed. I said I think I’ll be here for a while because I have a lot of work to do. I am embracing my sacred space.

The threshold is God’s waiting room: Have you ever read something so lovely? I see the world through God’s eyes on walks with the dogs when I hear every bird, when I stop to appreciate the Hawk – in sheer awe of its wingspan –  hunting for prey, when I awake and stand at the window counting the different colors of the morning sunrise, when I take the dogs out for their last visit before bedtime and bask in the moonlight, when I kiss my daughter goodnight and tell her that I love her, and when I place my head on my pillow each night and thank God for every moment when he made his presence that day. This is the best waiting room ever.

Minneapolis Morning, by Karen Craven
Minneapolis Morning, by Karen Craven

Yes, I like this liminal space.

I did something yesterday that was the reason for the call to Karin. I sought to understand something from someone who owed me nothing. And yet, he gave it to me unselfishly. He helped me understand what recovery and addiction are, and the challenges an addict faces every moment of every day. When he said, “I’m always three decisions away from another drink,” the conversation became sacred. I would have never had the courage to seek that understanding were I not in this liminal space. Because of it, my old world continues to fall apart and this bigger world is revealed.

My hat is higher than Mary's, by my Minneapolis running partner, Amy Fisher Quinn
My hat is higher than Mary’s, photo by my Minneapolis running partner, Amy Fisher Quinn

5 Thoughts

  1. Karen,

    My God woman, this is crazy fantastic writing!

    Sorry if I don’t have something more poetic to say about it, but I’m too busy thinking about how magical a thing the written word is when it is delivered up the way you do it.


    Liked by 1 person

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