In this moment, I feel lost in the in-between. The unfortunate spaces that happen in life where the foundations your life stands on slip away, one-by-one, or are suddenly ripped away all at once, and with no new underfoot supports replacing what was lost, the feeling that follows is floating in space.
Not magical, anti-gravity good times.
I am talking about the got-sucked-out-the-airlock variety of floating in space.
I can handle radical change pretty well, provided I feel like I have some patch of solid ground to stand on. But a prolonged sense of groundlessness with no certain end in sight is another kettle of space fish. And these space fish have been kettled quite a while now.
I would imagine I am not the only involuntary airlock-evacuee out here in the vacuum, wondering if the space we are floating through will really prove to be infinite, or if we will get some Arthur Dent-ish, Improbabilty-Drive-style reprieve, or if this might even be the end of us.
Which is what drives me to cast my words into the void, beyond being an attempt to ground myself, however briefly, in the predictability of a routine.
I am trying to write honestly about the space I would much prefer not to be in, to say to my fellows in the in-between: none of us are the only one out here, even if there is distance between us. And we can survive and find our way back to feeling gravity anchoring us firmly to the ground, because fortunately for all of us, being cast unwilling out into space is just a metaphor. We have oxygen and gravity and the warmth of the sun, even if our emotions tell us otherwise. We can survive.
Maybe we begin by choosing a less helpless metaphor for feeling adrift…like being at sea.
The sea is vast, but not endless. We can tread water, we can swim, we can allow ourselves to float if we are too exhausted to move just now.
I am doggie-paddling along with every word I write. I intend to feel my toes in the sand as soon as I can. I am certainly hoping a kindly whale will come along and let me hitch a ride, or I will find myself sped along by some as-yet-undiscovered current, but if that doesn’t happen, I will swim, and keep swimming until I reach land. I know it’s out there somewhere.
I hope you hear me splish-splashing my awkward way forward, so you know you are in water, not a vacuum, and that you can swim for it, too.