Whatever kind of days they are, they feel “in between.” And while technically any days could be “in between,” I seldom notice it, and I suspect I am not alone.
I think this “in between” quality is close to what social anthropologist Victor Turner meant by the idea of “liminality”. Turner used the idea to understand the meaning of initiation rituals. But it’s tempting to borrow the idea, when it seems to fit, to describe the ambiguous quality of this stretch of time.
Liminality, applied to time, seems like it might be another word for “already-not yet.” That slogan is well known in Christian theological circles, as a description of the present, in which God’s realm of justice and peace has already definitively triumphed, but not yet in the visible, tangible, material and complete way I myself, and I suspect others, keep hoping to experience.
Come to think of it, the Women’s Center is a liminal entity in this sense, since its mission is focused on keeping alive our consciousness of the gap between what we all already know, or should know, about what justice means when it comes to gender (women are people, people include women), but don’t yet fully put into practice — and on closing that gap, in the direction of bringing our collective practice into line with our good ideas and intentions.
The most immediate already-not yet liminal Women’s Center offering on the agenda is 2009 Artist-in-Residence Ann Laird Jones’s J-term course Clay Forms: Restorative Table Justice. We are looking forward to seeing the forms and insights that will emerge from that unique time and space.
[Image from Notes on the History of Stoke-on-Trent]