The ancient Celts had the right idea: it is in the in-between that magic lives. Dawn, not daylight; dusk, not night. Really. Who would have felt the enchantment of Brigadoon if it lay under the bright golden summer blue sky? It was the very fact that it lay shrouded in fog and mist that we could believe in the magic of that place. There is an expectancy, an urgency that goes with that in between and almost time.
In between is all about possibility. It is the infinite and unknown. It is Schroedinger's Cat living large. Or perhaps dead. Or both together. It is where God lives, in the space that exsists between me and you. It is magic and mystery and enchantment.
I am fascinated by the in between, by the infinite.
I just wish I could do them, fit in that space. I have an impossibly difficult time with it. While I sense the majesty and magic, can feel the Almost gather its shape, I feel all lopsided and clumsy and wonky. I do not know how to respond. What I crave is knowing what will happen next. I want the rules, dammit. I want to know what's expected of me. Don't make me guess. I do not know how to relax. I cannot sit comfortably in the dynamic tension of in betweens. I feel it much like a cat or dog feels the tension of a coming earthquake: disaster is just around the corner and I want to bolt before it hits.
And right now, my life feels ruled by the twin novae of In Between and Almost.
It is uncertain and twisty, the path that lies at my feet. There is hidden quicksand, I am sure of it. I cannot see all the traps; there are shadows and menace and probable monsters. There is endless despair and eternal night. It gets worse. I crawl inside my head to escape this uncertainty and the tensions magnify.
My skin buzzes, my foot jiggles, my thoughts skitter, making up the eleventy seven thousand stories that go along with "what if..." In the absence of information, I make stuff up, and it’s never the make believe of happily-ever-after. In my stories, the evil wizard triumphs over good, the dragon eats the princess and the hero gets lost in the woods. And that's the beginning of the story; the end is not nearly so upbeat.
But here's the thing: even in the midst of my almost panic, I remember a grace note of something else, something that may almost be hope. There is this poised expectancy, like the ghostly breath of God that hovers over a field of grass at dawn, waiting for a single breath to give it shape and movement. That is my life: poised, motionless, waiting for a single breath to give it shape. And my instincts scream: run!
But I don't. I don't run. I stay, waiting, skin crawling, watching and waiting for what happens next. It can drive friends and lovers mad. I, myself, am an in between and an almost. I am neither here nor there. I flit and twirl and dance along a razor sharp path to get over the endless chasm of almost.
Relax. Let go. Let be. Just be. Wait.
Do they all not understand, even now, what I wouldn't give to be able to sit in comfort and quiet in the magic of that in between? Do they not know how glorious it would be to breathe and just be?
And I can almost get it. I can almost find that place, poised so exquisitely between the infinite and the possible. And that is the whisper of hope. I am almost, I am in between, and I can breathe. Just breathe. And the wonkiness, the twisty anxiety, they give way, with infinite slowness, to the beauty of almost and in between. And I can sit still, and wait, and go slow: for a moment, a breath, a day, some finite time where I don't have to know.
It is where God exists. It is where love resides and hope is born. It is redemption and grace. It is the place of my heart. Even in my fear, even in my panic and uncertainty, I am given these gifts. And I find peace.