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  • Fernell Miller

Liminal Space: The Time Between the ‘What Was’ and the ‘What's Next.’

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Washington State announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. I can't begin to process nor express the many emotions that are all surfacing at the same time for me, my students, my colleagues and my community. We are all in liminal space . . .


What Is A Liminal Space?


The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.

I believe the Pandemic is happening FOR us, not TO us.

In every darkness there are always silver linings

and slivers of hope to hang onto, in the midst of hope dashed.

It's balance.


Humanity provides us balance;

Rejection and Acceptance.

Challenge and Accomplishment.

Grief and Gratitude.

Seasons reflect balance;

Fallow and Harvest

Fall and Spring.

Death and Birth.


Our bodies crave balance;

Day and Night.

Resistance and Rest.

Hibernation and Connection.

Our spirit's balance wisdom;

to Speak and be Silent.

with Despair and Faith.

Against Railing and Rage and when to Rally, Recover and Redeem ourselves.

Yet, in the midst of my angst and struggle,

I am thankful for Liminal Space to provide balance while I rest.

Rest is neither weakness nor an escape,

but our need to Remember and Reminisce.

Reimagine and Reinvent.

Reemerge, Reconnect and Rediscover our powerful capacity to Rebuild and Relaunch ourselves!


Recognize that we are in Transition and Transformation,

and to Reach out and embrace your liminal space and spaces.

Shake off and replant your roots in fresh rich soil and be ready to rise to the just and balanced

future you have only imagined, because now is the time when that future is more possible than ever.

~ Believe in the Root of all of Us ~

*Thank you to Sunday's RHC - Racial Healing Circle - for helping me process and hold space for my thoughts.


Below are some articles I recommend gauging an understanding of the Liminal Space.

The Lesson of the Butterfly by Paulo Coelho

This quick story adeptly explains liminal space.


The Evolution of the Butterfly

In “The Evolution of the Butterfly,” renowned cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton narrates the process of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. This short film uses the metaphor to provide an inspirational context for contemporary social activism.


Watch the Video: The Evolution of the Butterfly

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