As stillness is the mother of motion, silence is the mother of words, and the center is the mother of the liminal. And now, in some way for everyone, the liminal is all there is.
When I feel too much in the center of things, the liminal sings to me from the edges. It is shade to the August sun, forest edge to the tired field. Growing up, the industrial homogenizing culture felt so ubiquitous, immovable, inescapable. It was the terror of the stable built atop the fault line. Outside of it was vapors and madness, the beyond the pale. Yet that was clearly where I wanted to go. Now the center with its illusion of a foundation is gone. The tipping points are passed. Gravity’s indiscriminate hand is pulling the hollow tree of industrial civilization back to the soil. And everyone is coming to live where I used to feel like I lived, alone – in precarity, in impermanence, in uncertainty, and when grace comes through, in mystery. And with the center now abandoned, I, maybe in some way in my blood a certain kind of explorer, wants to go there.
What do I find there?
No industry. No politics. No media. No popular culture. No electricity. No religion. No nations. No ideologies. Nothing to defend or decry. This center is primordial and newborn. It is the still center the frantic center was obscuring. The patient chaos. The simple unbroken melody. It is where to start a garden again.
I walk to it, light and bewildered. Grief is the footfalls. Longing is the breath. I stand in it, undone and unassuming.
Once there was a short pleasure in naming. Now names are swarming hordes in fiber optic tentacles dense and enervated beneath the tides. I give up naming, then. Once, the mind could dazzle and spark with ideas, caffeinated into the feeling of a kind of stellar nursery churning new light and a lot of dark matter. Now ideas are nothing but another concrescence of the great transparent labyrinth of a long past senescent culture. I give up ideas, then. Once religion was the ornate retreading of a mystic’s footsteps to the shape of god, and now it’s a muddy eroded rut collecting runoff and barely shielding anyone from the existential howl that begs to be howled when the human soul is faced with so many simultaneous choices of shampoo. I give up religion.
Oh center, tremendous dare. If I am still, everything will land on my skin at once. Everything will feast on me.