I am writing this blog on Holy Thursday as we approach Good Friday and Easter and a colleague of mind has just reminded me that, like much of real life situation, Holy Saturday gets marginalised (referring to the often neglected day in the Easer Vigil) especially among Protestants! My colleague went on to note that Holy Saturday points to entombment and despair bringing us to the end of words and into liminal (in-between) space as the only space where authentic transformation takes place.
Many of us do find ourselves in such places (between loss and hope) and the unpredictable and ambiguous nature of such space(s) may create fear, despair and anxiety. We also know (in retrospect) that such spaces have been/can be opportunities for renewal and new life.
From some of my readings over the last two weeks, here are a few random thoughts, statements and questions that I have found to open up vistas to hopeful and new possibilities.
- If you are like me, often struggling to go through a day free of any contamination with the internet, don’t panic: there is hope. There is a new application appropriately named “freedom”, that locks you out of your internet connection for a determined time and the only way to get reconnected is to re-boot your computer. According to the inventor, our computers are getting more distracting with a host of multimedia possibilities that keep us away from concentrating on our main task. And besides, the obligation to respond to messages is getting to become a problem given that we are social beings. If you do not wish to pay for the application, the best medicine is a gadget free or tomb-free office/work space!
- When dead is not dead caught my attention in a book by Dick Teresi. In The Undead the author contends that death is not a simple matter of one’s heart stop beating or when one stops breathing. For modern medicine can get the heart going again and we can communicate in different ways though trapped in a non-functioning body. Death is now defined by whatever makes me, the me I am, disappears.
- Individual responsibility gathering momentum into collective action is the only way there will be any real change to save mother earth and engage with the massive economic challenges before us. Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” is a very appropriate Easter hymn, as we chant our way through the liminal spaces.
- As a Caribbean person and after Pirates plying in the Caribbean for colonial decades I do not endorse piracy. But I was taken by a recent piece of work by a scholar from one of our universities who researched the effects of Somali piracy, contending that piracy has led to widespread economic development (creating employment, more money in the community, more local cooks, producers and traders) in one of the poorest countries in the world. What kind of transformation will happen in the liminal spaces of places like Somalia? Or will it be a long entombment?
- Can we break loose from our obsession with the mystical substance we call money? Will our theology of creation come out of its entombment – that is, our venerating of humans as the pinnacle of creation, instead of the Sabbath as the ultimate act? Will our gaze continue to be fixated on predatory prosperity and dream of an illusionary economic promised land, and will we continue to worship an economic model that is embalmed in death? What transformation will happen in the liminal spaces?
It is not easy to dwell in the space of unknowing – that liminal place which can be disorienting. Because of our tendency to be in control and order things into neat parcels the in-between-spaces are uncomfortable. Embracing the divine at/in unpredictable borderlands is challenging, but for many already there – it is the only way of birthing something new, different and hopeful.
copyright © April 4, 2012