“As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.”
~ ‘For the Interim Time’ by John O’Donohue
There is an amazing freedom and possibility in the unknown — just as a marshy eco-tone is teeming with emerging Life yet is neither firm land nor water-body. It’s an in-between zone.
We don’t always see the places or times of in-between, with their great tension, transition, or life-altering shifts as an invitation to creative adventure or liberation, though, do we?
It can be a challenge when we’re caught up in the stress of change or that place of creative tension — standing at the precipice of the Unknown, or being cooked in the crucible of it — to believe that there even are possibilities for something new and wonderful wanting to be born and experienced, because we can’t yet see.
At such times, we’re enveloped by the cloud of unknowing, as one long-ago monk called it.
No matter how many times I’ve been immersed in the creative process, or found myself in the unknown — that tense, creative transition-space between something ending and something new beginning, I’ve felt the tension and an almost unbearable restlessness in it.
And that fear, as I stood in the smoking rubble of what was, that nothing good will ever happen again … yes, I’m familiar with that one.
In truth, Life is creative, a great experiment, so thinking otherwise may well be a set-up for perpetual frustration, yes?
There have been times, in that ‘Unknown’ place, when I’ve retreated to the known and seemingly comfortable, or tried to (ha ha, I know!).
There have also been more than a few of those truly transformative, highly initiatory times, too, when there was no retreating to the ‘known and comfortable’ because it no longer existed, so the creative adventure of the Unknown was the territory in which I found myself, like it or not.
Sometimes, I’ve found the courage to wait there in that tension, be enveloped by the Unknown, and let some new thing find expression through me.
When I’ve found my way to the latter, it’s because, yes, I reach into my ever deepening ‘tool kit’ or magic backpack that is the result of many years of training and practice.
And also because I’ve immersed myself in inspiration that stokes the spirit-fires of creative adventure and an ability to see uncertainty and in-between times differently than we might see them when we’re looking through the fear-lens.
Are you in one of these in-between Life-phases, traveling a segment of The Unknown … no longer caterpillar but not yet butterfly (or Phoenix)?
If you’d feel more centered by having an experienced lantern-holder and guide (one who’s also been there), contact me and we’ll explore the options.
Big Love in the In-Between,
p.s. for inspiration on re-rooting and sinking roots deep into new ground (or the new life) read this May Sarton-inspired post: Home and Exile: Uprooting and Growing New Roots.