your reflection in the liminal spaces


Four roses drinking from a blue vase,

the first one I name Moment of Gladness,

the second, Wresting Beauty from Fear.

All year I watched my beloved disappearing, the sweet fat

of her hips, her laughter, her will,

as though a whelk had drilled through her shell,

sucked out the flesh. Death woke me each morning

with its bird impersonation. But now she has cut

these Clouds of Glory and a honeyed musk sublimes

from their petals, veined fine as an infant’s eyelids,

and spiraling like any embryo- fish, snake, or human-

and she has carried them to me, saturated

in the colors they have not swallowed,

the blush and gold, the razzle-dazzle red, riven

from the dirt to cleave here briefly.

And now, as though to signify our fortune,

a tiny insect journeys across the kingdom

of one ivory petal and into the heart

of the blossom. O, Small Mercies sliced

from the root. I listen

as they sip the blue water.

~Ellen Bass

maybe it’s like an existential birthmark… we relate to ourselves like witnessing a life-changing sunset…..

inquiry for today~   measure your day by the awareness of reflection and how you may notice the in-between spaces….

The space or the moment between – whether physical places or experiences –  is a place of possibility. Rather than waiting being a nuisance, or a sense that you are wasting time, it is an invitation to breathe into the now and receive its gifts.

Each moment of the breath is a threshold – the movement from inhale to fullness to exhale to emptiness. The breath can help us stay present to all of the moments of transition in our lives, when we feel tempted to rush breathlessly to the next thing. Instead, what happens in our bodies and hearts when we intentionally pause? When we honor this threshold as sacred? When we breathe deeply and slowly for even a single minute?

Statio calls us to a sense of reverence for slowness and mindfulness. We can open up a space within for God to work. We can become fully conscious of what we are about to do rather than mindlessly starting and completing another task. We call upon the breath as an ancient soul friend to help us to witness our lives unfolding, rather than being carried along until we aren’t sure where our lives are going. We can return again and again to our bodies and their endless wisdom and listen at every threshold.

We often think of these in between times as wasted moments and inconveniences, rather than opportunities to return again and again to the expansiveness of the present moment and the body’s opening to us right now. Our invitation is to awaken to the gifts right here, not the ones we imagine waiting for us beyond the next door.

~Christine Valters Paintner


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