I have been in this space of not knowing for quite some months and have written about it under other titles. But both the figurative and literal aspects of the phenomenon are now really getting to me and I cannot waft lyrical about it anymore.
In short, limbo sucks. It doesn’t matter what form it takes. It is unsettling and exhausting. It can drain the life out of you if you aren’t careful. How I have managed to not run through the house screaming is a puzzle to me. I have felt like it at some point at least once every day – meditations not withstanding. And sometimes the harder I try to deal with it constructively, the wider and deeper the limbo gets. I am at sea in the proverbial boat-with-no-paddle. No flares, no horns, no flags, no radio. I feel like a speck of dust in a gale storm. And I have no voice. Or do I?
The scientific nature of limbo is a mystery. After all, its nature changes from person-to-person. I can’t say what it’s like for anyone else, but for me, limbo is like floating on nothing, in nothing. But knowing that there is someplace I have to go, if not where. Yes, I know some philosophies would say that it is the journey not the destination that is important. I agree. But that being said, the metaphor of the boat without a paddle is very apt, and in that scenario, the journey isn’t happening. Nothing is happening except that I am getting seasick. And there is no one to hold my head when I start vomiting. Mommy, where are you?
Limbo will capture all of us from time to time between the hours of birth and death. It lasts an indeterminate amount of time each time – minutes, hours, days, months – and lets you go only when it is ready. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do while held captive. You can lie there and count the holes in the acoustical tile on the ceiling, or you can try to use your hands as oars to get moving. You can meditate to center yourself, or yell and thrash around, all at high volume. Limbo will hold you until it thinks you are ready to move on and the only comfort you will ever have during your captivity is the knowing that change is forever in motion. Nothing stays the same indefinitely. That has to be enough to keep you going. There is nothing else.
For me, this particular limbo has made me gain weight – I am an emotional eater – and it has caused me to retreat into myself more when I am among others. I have less to offer, or so it seems. Then why, I must ask myself, am I (finally!) sending my poetry to publishing houses now? Why have I (finally!) ordered a massage table to do my energy healing work now? Limbo, there is movement in spite of you. The survival instinct is alive and well and Alice writes to write another day. Amen.