Water Rabbit Days

liminality is the only real thing

Last year, 2022, the homie Big Scott told me that 2023 would be a year for “going in” and that people would be experiencing big feels, big internal journeys; that it might be a time for dark and juicy, likely anxious travels through the collective soulsphere.

I spent the entire winter and most of the spring, as fleeting as it is in Minnesota, going through some hard times. Spent a few days wondering if this was going to last forever, spent many nights wondering if I’d ever sleep peacefully again. The summer was chiller. I didn’t have to dad, so I was able to relax and slow down, bike around, go to the beach, enjoy the sun. When the boys came back, along with their mom, things got a little harder, but not that bad. It seemed (seems) as if the worst is behind me this year.

I still sleep like butt, but I’m not tripping. I still overthink and wish for things I don’t have, but I’m not tripping. I still wonder what life would be like on a sunny coast in a courtyard with a garden, a studio, and a nice cup of tea … but I’m not tripping.

So that’s nice.

I can confirm that, for me, it’s been an internal journey of sorts. Things haven’t been racing, changes have come and gone slowly, healing has been a day to day process. I still hurt, I still regret, I still wish …

But I’m not tripping.

As the Water Rabbit Year reaches its last moons

Of course, last night I slept like butt again. As I tossed and turned I felt myself slip into liminal spaces filled with absurd and anxious thoughts, rapid fire images, and memories of pain and sadness and fear. In that space, I also felt a sense of resilience? I’m not sure how to describe it, but a sense of knowing that I’ll be fine, no matter how difficult those midnight hours feel in the moment. I have noticed this year that liminality and a general flow from one state to another has been the norm – it’s always been the norm, whatever “norm is” – and I think it does make me feel better.

I’ve had great days. Days when I reach out to my friends who are suffering and reassure them that it’s all good while at the same time being aware of my feelings: gratitude that I’m not feeling anxious; gratitude that it’s not me this time, needing someone to talk to; fear, that my time of suffering is right around the corner; maybe even joy, as I sing out my boys’ names and clean my house and accomplish other little things.

There is no sage who can claim that there is a state in which only joy persists. There is only awareness of the liminal world, and the evershifting field within that strange place where reality takes shape. Or no-awareness.

So the thing is to take the good with the bad, basically, and

Not trip.

Holy shit that’s hard. I’ve found that “liminal” is not only my word of choice for this little essay, but also the vibe of this entire Water Rabbit year. Just … in the grey space, in the deeps, in the dark waters, in the warren where rabbits hide, floating, somewhat on two feet? but mostly just floating back and forth like seaweed in the tides. I envy people who see nothing but stark reality – work and rent and homes and lovemaking and events and all is just a movie and we can watch and laugh and go to bed and sleep soundly. Man I envy that … envy … wishing … comparing …

Things that have helped: therapy every Tuesday; gym about 3-4 times a week; hugging and snuggling my boys; kickball on Mondays (currently over, but something might replace it); long talks with good friends; jerking off from time to time; writing; making little Storytime videos; this podcast I’m doing with my homies; walking around Powderhorn.

I dream of two different spaces: a cabin/farm in the woods with dogs and gardens and wildness and my American friends living around me AND a cottage by the sea with a courtyard and a studio and some tea and me older and the wind in my hair and I look alone but maybe there’s someone in the home, waiting for me to come back in and share a bowl of soup.

Big Scott said these Water Dog and Water Pig moons, these last moons of the year, will be the deepest yet. ‘We will not see this much water again for a long time” he said, which means this is a time to relish the depths and the stillness and the silence and the darkness. I will do my best, I really will. I will be in one of the darkest and stillest places in the world, honestly, for these moons, north enough that the sky is dark by mid afternoon, cold enough to keep us inside; long enough that our homes will double as hibernation caves, coffins, cozy spaces, ritualistic caverns and secret temple chambers.

I swear, I just wanna get through. I guess I want to “do work” in the sense that I create, but “the work” as in my shadow work, inner child healing work, facing my deepest fears work, I do want that but I also dread the suffering that real work entails.

The question then, is how to make the suffering an act of love, and act of sacrifice to the liminal field, an act of devotion?

Answer: Don’t trip. Be at ease. Let the liminal waves wash over and just put one foot in front of the other.


Picture of Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

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