Navigating Liminal Spaces: A Journey from Perceptual Boundaries to Empowered Perception
I was born backwards and with the caul wrapped around my head. For a long time, doctors thought I was blind, but then, eventually, my eyes reacted to light. At one, I had an operation. But even then, after the patches and then with tiny blue glasses perched on my itty-bitty nose, I didn’t see right. I’d see eight of things, then eventually four, and then eventually two, until the ability to use both eyes at the same time left.
Stuck at age five, still with glasses, but unable to see the world with any depth. I grew up terrible at volleyball, baseball, tennis because I couldn’t judge how close the ball was to my face when it flew through the air. I ran into trees when I raced bikes in the woods behind Deb Muir’s house because I misjudged the jumps they made with plywood. I’d run through my own back woods, searching for Bigfoot and take massive Superman diggers, tripped up by New Hampshire tree roots that I didn’t realize were quite so high.
The bruises collected, but I refused to accept that I wasn’t seeing the world the right way, that everyone else could except me.
My mother, god bless her, was proficient at fixing broken glasses and pressing cold compresses on bruises, smoking her Marlboro Lights and admonishing me to protect myself.
“You don’t have to always be going and doing, Carrie,” she’d say while giving me a kiss and a hug, removing an ice pack or putting on a bandage. “It’s okay to sometimes just be still.”
My mother, god bless her again, wasn’t very still herself. “You’re going to be the death of me,” she’d say sadly before sending me off with a kiss. I wasn’t. Diabetes and those cigarettes were.
I wrote a post over here this morning about my town and liminal spaces-those transitory thresholds in our world, our architecture, our community, our own lives. And it may have sort of done me in, which was bad planning on my part when it comes to this post.
But I’m going to give it a go. When I think about my inability to see the world correctly, in all its full 3D glory, I think a lot about the liminal spaces, the existing in between things.