"Epiphany" is a word that I learned as a child. At that point it meant a season of the church.
Later, in literature classes, I learned of the "literary epiphany."
One day in church, I suddenly understood how the two concepts were related. Lightning bolt!
"Liminal Icon CCC" at www.stephenfosterfinearts.com
"Liminal" is a word that I have learned from the RevGals. If I heard it before that, it didn't register.
I'm hearing it in a new way after the BE....an epiphany about liminality! The BE was a liminal space, in that it was in between any reality or day to day responsibility.
Prior to leaving, the group had discussed blogging about our daily activities. The goal would be to keep those of you who didn't attend up on our activities and feeling "a part of." We missed you and oh, how we thought of and talked about you. Your names were mentioned, you were definitely present in that way. HOWEVER - it was decided that self-care (the topic of the BE) meant not blogging, checking e-mail, or feeling pressure to do so. (Also, I didn't want to give any kind of "we're here and you're not" messages....however unintentionally.)
Not sure how well blogging would have transferred....because the space we were in was liminal. It was a threshold from one life to another. We walked on an entirely artificial space...who lives on a BOAT with 3000 other people!?...and we were surrounded with many things that most of us don't see day to day. Like...line dancing classes; discos; people in swimsuits; midnight buffets; casinos. And of course, honesty, honesty, raw and beautiful and sacred honesty. The realest space in the world.
The effect it had on us, too, was of passing through from one way of being to another. Many have written about their "words" that we drew from the deck the first day. My word was "Blessing."
I spent a good deal of time trying to think what that meant. As an academic, my first response was to look it up! But where? I did a little thinking about Jacob and Peniel, "I will not let you go except you bless me." Hum, what does THAT mean?
In my day to day, I try to be a blessing to people! I worry about whether everyone is having a good time and feeling included. I fret if people are fussing or unhappy. Rooming with Elastigirl was excellent for me in this regard, because she helped me remember that I could do NOTHING about any of that. I could only do things about ME.
PHEW, big sigh.
I finally determined that what I was seeing was blessing all around me, and that I was witnessing people blessing each other. And that I needed to stop being such a fussbudget and let the blessings come to me, too. My tattoo in the last post is the Chinese character for "compassion," the closest I could get to my word. And I realized that I need to have some compassion for myself...a person on whom I can be very hard.
Three other notes:
- the first night of the BE, I dreamed that no one liked me and they were making fun of me. Anxiety anyone? :) And a gift for that: one of the great things I heard throughout the trip was that I was not the only one who had such anxieties. The honesty blew me away.
- Last night/this morning I dreamed I was trying to get ready to sail on the NEXT BE cruise, and realized at the dock that I didn't have my documents. I spent a lot of time running around trying to make it happen, but the boat left without me. I still want to be on that boat, folks! This transition back to home and work and washing the floor is rattling me. I'll get there, but I'm just saying...
- One of my recent realizations is that I am a compulsive reader and I often read to escape. In conversation with RevDrKate it occurred to me that I need to consider this in the days to come. And I realize now: Guess what I did not do ONE SINGLE MINUTE OF during the BE? That's right. I had 7 books with me (because that's me!) and while I carried one around for a few days...no reading was done. In the liminal spaces ... everything is different. And so am I.